We have finally had a reprieve from the intense rain.  So this weekend we turned over the soil in the raised vegetable beds. (We have four fairly good sized raised beds, just for vegetables)
Each year, I have watched a slow decline to the vegetable beds.  I knew part of it was a late start to the summers, but I did not know what else was wrong.  So I spoke to a lovely lady at our garden centre - I think I have it figured out.  Normally we will till the soil with compost, and a composted manure - usually Mushroom Manure.  This year, I bought extra composted steer manure to try.  The other vital piece of information I learned was, our area tends to be very acidic - due to all of our fir, and cedar trees.  I was told to add a layer of lime to each of the beds, once the manure and compost had gone in.  It will be interesting to see if this makes a difference.
The other area of issue, a rather big issue, is the mass quantity of slugs we fight each year.  I have finally succumbed.  Each year I have used saucers of beer, egg shells, copper wiring around the beds - pricey, all to no avail.  I am tired of fighting these buggers!  I bought a product called Eco Slug Bait.  It is safe, harmless to the environment and more importantly safe to animals.  The directions say to spread out a good layer on damp soil.  The slug eats the bait, then is no longer hungry, crawls away, usually under a rock or some other moist area, falls asleep, and does not wake up.  Also, whatever does not get eaten degrades into the soil.  Because of the high phosphorus count, it is actually good for your soil.  Bonus!
This blog has been such a great way to keep a journal of what we learn each year in the garden.  My fingers are crossed, I can't wait to see how our preparations have worked.  Are you in the garden yet?

Ina Gawne
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  1. In the garden, but at the opposite end of the seasons - we are tidying... pulling up the tomatoes that have done so well for us this season... deciding to leave the zuchinni in for another week or two as there is still more to come... chopping the mint back and realising Earthquake! eek, that the mint is infested with caterpillars Big Green Juicy ones. Funny how you can hear an earthquake coming - always sounds like a truck coming down our street... it was a gentle rock and roll here, but I don't know where it was centred... such a worry here these days... I spent some time yesterday afternoon squishing caterpillars (I had gloves on!)

    1. heart is with you. I cannot imagine working in the garden, hearing an earthquake coming then feeling the rocking and rolling. My prayers are with you.
      I have had a few earthquake experiences...mostly mild thank god...but I do know how you feel. I think our planet is undergoing serious change...may we move forward in safety and loving kindness to all of our neighbours close by or far away. 🙂

  2. I'm in the garden! Our tomato plants have flowers on them, I'm so excited! The ph of our soil is very basic. We've dug up the soil and mixed it with organic compost, planted beans for their nitrogen and feed our garden regularly with fish emulsion. Maybe next we'll go foraging for pine needles.
    This site is very interesting, dealing with soil pH:
    So far, we have not had a bad time with slugs. When we do, beer takes care of them!

  3. I love raised beds gardening. It is the best. My father has a large garden & fruit garden.
    This year, I will be raising & growing tomato plants: yellow ones & baby red cherry tomatoes, lettuce, herbs & mini carrots. I also will be growing red yellow bell peppers & a chili plant, of course! There is nothing better & tastier then home grown food! Happy Gardening!! 🙂

    1. Fresh out of the garden does not get any better! I hope we have a warmer summer than last year, good luck with your gardening too!

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April 10, 2011