16 min

March Gardening Tips The Sunshine Gardening Podcast

    • Home & Garden

Getting the garden ready for the season can feel like such a daunting task. At this point, the lawn may be looking shabby and appears that it needs a good hair cut to knock down some weeds. Weeds may be eyeing you each time that you walk past the landscape and flower beds. The vegetable garden needs some attention too! If you already feel defeated, I have got just the solution for you! In episode 2 of the Sunshine Gardening podcast, I am sharing my top 3 spring gardening chores to help you finish strong for the month of March. Once you have completed these chores, I bet that the other tasks will seem less daunting to you. Stay with me as we march into those spring gardening chores!























Soil is the basic foundation block for gardening. All plants require essential nutrients to grow and this process is done by supplying nutrients through the root system which is then anchored into the soil. In Kentucky, soils are often times less than ideal with lots of red clay content which makes it difficult for soil drainage and nutrients to reach the plants root system. To help alleviate this issue, gardeners must first build good soil.







The first step

to obtaining good soil is through the use of a soil test. Soil testing is one

of the best practices to perform annually for your garden because there is

simply no guesswork involved. A standard soil test will determine the current

fertility status of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium

(Mg), pH, and cation exchange capacity. Soil test recommendations will also

reveal lime and fertilizer rates to apply which makes it extremely cost

effective for home gardeners and even commercial horticulture producers. Most

vegetable gardens perform best under slightly acid conditions with a pH range

of about 6.2 to 6.8. 







When taking a

soil sample for a home vegetable garden plot, take soil samples 6 to 8 inches

deep. Next, collect 12 to 15 core samples using either a soil probe, spade, or

trowel at the recommended depth. Make sure to take samples at random by

scattering to different locations in the area to ensure a well, represented

sample. After collecting samples, mix all the cores together in a clean bucket.

Allow the sample to air-dry on newspaper for a day and bring contents in a bag

to the Extension Office. Soil test samples generally take a minimum of a week

to two weeks maximum to get back. Extension agents will review the soil test

results, highlight the recommendations and sign it before returning to the

client in the mail.







If you are sampling other areas around your home, contact the local Extension Office in your area. They will be happy to walk you through the proper steps in soil sampling different horticulture crops.







The spring

season is the perfect time for breaking ground. Sometimes though, the spring

weather can be a wet one. Wait to work the ground until the soil has dried. Working

ground when wet hurts the overall soil structure by forming clods that are

difficult to break apart. Some gardeners may want to consider planting their

spring vegetable transplants in raised bed gardens since they warm up faster

and dry out quicker in comparison to conventional gardening plots.







The best

indicator in knowing when to break ground is when soil is moist and crumbles

readily when formed into a ball. Loosen the soil to a depth of 10 to 12 inches

with a spade or rototiller. Pulverize any clods that may work their way to the

top, since large dirt clods can cause poor seed germination. Spread compost out

and lightly work it into the soil.

Getting the garden ready for the season can feel like such a daunting task. At this point, the lawn may be looking shabby and appears that it needs a good hair cut to knock down some weeds. Weeds may be eyeing you each time that you walk past the landscape and flower beds. The vegetable garden needs some attention too! If you already feel defeated, I have got just the solution for you! In episode 2 of the Sunshine Gardening podcast, I am sharing my top 3 spring gardening chores to help you finish strong for the month of March. Once you have completed these chores, I bet that the other tasks will seem less daunting to you. Stay with me as we march into those spring gardening chores!























Soil is the basic foundation block for gardening. All plants require essential nutrients to grow and this process is done by supplying nutrients through the root system which is then anchored into the soil. In Kentucky, soils are often times less than ideal with lots of red clay content which makes it difficult for soil drainage and nutrients to reach the plants root system. To help alleviate this issue, gardeners must first build good soil.







The first step

to obtaining good soil is through the use of a soil test. Soil testing is one

of the best practices to perform annually for your garden because there is

simply no guesswork involved. A standard soil test will determine the current

fertility status of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium

(Mg), pH, and cation exchange capacity. Soil test recommendations will also

reveal lime and fertilizer rates to apply which makes it extremely cost

effective for home gardeners and even commercial horticulture producers. Most

vegetable gardens perform best under slightly acid conditions with a pH range

of about 6.2 to 6.8. 







When taking a

soil sample for a home vegetable garden plot, take soil samples 6 to 8 inches

deep. Next, collect 12 to 15 core samples using either a soil probe, spade, or

trowel at the recommended depth. Make sure to take samples at random by

scattering to different locations in the area to ensure a well, represented

sample. After collecting samples, mix all the cores together in a clean bucket.

Allow the sample to air-dry on newspaper for a day and bring contents in a bag

to the Extension Office. Soil test samples generally take a minimum of a week

to two weeks maximum to get back. Extension agents will review the soil test

results, highlight the recommendations and sign it before returning to the

client in the mail.







If you are sampling other areas around your home, contact the local Extension Office in your area. They will be happy to walk you through the proper steps in soil sampling different horticulture crops.







The spring

season is the perfect time for breaking ground. Sometimes though, the spring

weather can be a wet one. Wait to work the ground until the soil has dried. Working

ground when wet hurts the overall soil structure by forming clods that are

difficult to break apart. Some gardeners may want to consider planting their

spring vegetable transplants in raised bed gardens since they warm up faster

and dry out quicker in comparison to conventional gardening plots.







The best

indicator in knowing when to break ground is when soil is moist and crumbles

readily when formed into a ball. Loosen the soil to a depth of 10 to 12 inches

with a spade or rototiller. Pulverize any clods that may work their way to the

top, since large dirt clods can cause poor seed germination. Spread compost out

and lightly work it into the soil.

16 min

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