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Backyard Gardener: Preparing the Soil


BANGOR - With gorgeous days like today, many of you are probably itching to get outside and kick start your summer to-do list. Once again this year, we are setting out to grow our own garden here at the station.

If you grew a garden last year, you may not have looked to see what remains. Take it from us, it isn't pretty... but it can be!

John Jemison from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension came to the station to give us a few tips on getting the garden started again.

We removed the tomato trellis, cleared dead plants, and set aside the straw for a future compost pile.

Using our shovels we established an edge around the perimeter of the plot, to keep down the number of weeds. Which right now, there's no shortage of, especially dandelions.

With recent wet weather, John says the soil is still heavy. The best way to till may be with a fork, rather than a rototiller.

John says using a machine versus a hand-tool can have adverse effects on the future of your garden, like breaking down the organic matter.

Since we tested the soil last year, John says the composition should be good. First time gardeners may want to send in a sample, as amendments to the soil, could help the garden's yield. 

Next week we'll begin planting cool season crops.

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