Brand New Bed

It’s been a slow start getting the beds ready for spring planting because of the frequent rain.  It’s not raining right now, but everything is wet and muddy.

I did manage to get a brand new bed shaped up for planting last weekend.  Its only 12 feet long versus the 21 feet of most of my beds.  I made it in my compost area and I have another bed the same size about half shaped up right next to this one which I’ll finish off as soon as the ground is dry enough.

Because I’ve been moving my compost piles through this area for years, the clay soil was actually quite soft and the bed ended up looking pretty good.  Untypical for most new beds, the soft soil was quite deep and required no extra loosening.  I just needed to define the paths, clean out the weeds, and shape it up.

I planted squash throughout this area last year on flat unshaped ground.  As much as possible, I’ve been following Elliot Coleman’s 8 year crop rotation which I originally found in his book, The New Organic Grower.  In Coleman’s system, root crops follow plantings of squash, so carrots, beets, potatoes, onions, and other root crops should logically be planted here.

I’m a little worried about wire worms, which seem to be more concentrated in areas that have not been under constant rotation.  I’m definitely not going to put my potatoes here, but I think I’ll take a chance on carrots and beets.  I’m hoping the carrots will love the soft soil.   I’ll seed the beds directly after April 15th.  It will be another experiment and I’m hoping the super fertile soil will give me good results.

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