Soil Prep for Edibles

The first week of March definitely came in like a lamb this year with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. It was beautiful weather for working in the staff garden at the City Garden Home.

The soil needed some TLC after working hard all fall and winter. Vegetables are needy when it comes to soil. They require fertile, well draining ground for optimal growth. I like to refresh the soil after each growing season to replenish nutrients. Gardening is raised beds makes it easy. I take the existing soil and mix in well rotted manure and compost or humus. A good ratio is 2 parts soil to 1 part manure and 1 part compost.

As a final step Jobe’s Organics All Purpose fertilizer was added. This stuff is powerfully good at breaking down nutrients in the soil for plants to absorb.

This year is going to be the best yet for the staff garden.


31 Responses to Soil Prep for Edibles

  1. randy emerson says:

    putting in new lawn and garden any hints//?????

    • Randy-

      If you are beginning a brand new lawn, please consider Buffalo Grass. Lovely and hardy and only needs mowing twice per year! This is the Eco-friendly lawn strategy. Seed is readily available online.

      This is not intended in an existing lawn.

    • Beth Byrne says:

      Hello Everyone,
      I’m taking out my front yard and planting drought tolerant plants.
      Does anyone know how to kill the grass? The folks at the water dept recommend using Round-Up.
      In the back yard I am replanting my yard which is filled with sticker grass with a new lawn (so my dog can play and be happy) Thanks for tip about Buffalo Grass. I will look into it.

  2. Perfect timing! Just hope that I can locate the Jobe’s Organics! Thanks!

  3. Maddie Ruud says:

    We have raised beds in our back yard. They do make veggie gardening so much easier! Much simpler to keep the slugs out, too!

    • Jacque Thomas says:

      I also have raised beds but how do you keep the slugs out?

    • Kay says:

      My mom would put nails near the plants and the slugs would curl around the nails. She had no problems then.

    • Erica says:

      You can purchase copper ribbon and run it vertically around your raised beds. The slugs will die when they come onto contact. Broken eggshells around the plants helps too. The slugs don’t like the sharp edges.

  4. Bren says:

    This is great information and I’m excited to pass it along to my friends on #gardenchat Twitter network. Looking forward to seeing these beds in person in May!

  5. Marlene says:

    Here in Idaho, I have raised vegetable beds. My soil is my problem. We have added purchased gardening soil, sand, peat moss, etc. The soil is still like a brick. What shoud I do?

    • Kathy Lindroth says:

      Hi, try 2/3 topsoil. 1/3 compost and work in a couple of coir bricks that have been soaked in water. Peat moss makes your soil hard.

  6. Marlene says:

    Here in Idaho we have raised vegetable beds. During the past two years we have added purchased vegetable soil, sand, etc. and the soil is still like a brick.

    • Tania says:

      I live in Idaho too. Best soil for boxes is Mel’s mix from Square Foot Gardening. 1/3 each compost, vermiculite and peat moss. It is so fluffy and holds water like a dream.


  7. Marlene says:

    Here in Idaho we have raised beds for vegetables. We have added vegetable soil, sand, etc. and the soil is still like a brick. What to do?

    • Joel says:

      I had a yard once that was pure clay, I turned my flower beds with a spade and sprinkled gypsum on and within weeks these huge clods crumbled to nothing, then I stirred in the soil additions – compost, manure, etc.

  8. Virgie says:


  9. Janice Steed says:

    Re: the slug question:

    I’ve been told that a saucer full to the rim with beer, which is then recessed into the bed, and the edge of the rim flush with the top of the soil – will attract slugs. They will slip in and drown.

  10. Vickie says:

    REgarding slugs in raised bed and or gardens…. I use cold ashes from the fireplace or fire pits. sprinkle arond the plants & even on it if you need to do so ….. I have done this for years .

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