Spring is upon us, finally

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We got a late start this year, but that shouldn’t discourage you from putting in a food garden. Tomatoes are setting fruit and if the warm weather sticks they will bear through September. In addition, lettuces, chard, and other leafy greens will produce through fall and well into winter. Oh, and don’t forget the beets.

Stake out a plot, or build a frame. Rent a tiller to mix the soil in the space well. You can add-in amendments to increase the soil’s nutrition. For a raised bed, put the frame down over the plot and fill with soil, either from a different part of your yard or from a local supplier.

For an existing garden you can thin out plants that have gone to seed, weed, amend your soil and mix in with a Mantis Cultivator rental. This tool is agile enough to be used in raised beds as well.

For those who feel the need for a fallow winter, crops such as clover, fava beans, and winter rye. These rapidly-growing plants also shade the ground, which suppresses the growth of winter weeds. These plants are nitrogen-fixers; bacteria colonize the roots. These microbes have the ability to pull nitrogen out of the air and convert it into a form which they (and your plants) can use. In the spring you cultivate them into the soil and they help your summer crops boom.