Prepping Beds

Team Turf has been busy this week prepping flower beds and picking out the best specimens from local nurseries to pack those beds full of amazing summer color.  One of the best things you can ever do when planting is to prep the area where the plant is going to be placed — whether it be an annual flower, a perennial plant, or a vegetable.  Plants and shrubs that are pampered from the get-go are going to be your best performers, and the blooms and overall health that you will get as a result of taking a bit more time initially are definitely worth it.

In getting ready for our summer garden at home, one of the first things we always do is to clean out any leaves, debris, or weeds from the raised beds.  Step two is topdress with a nutritious mix of vegetable soil.  There are tons of different “recipes” for adding nutrients to your vegetable beds.  In fact, when we first started growing vegetables at home we simply dumped in several bags of mushroom compost from Home Depot straight into the soil and tilled it until it was nice and fresh.  Now our soil comes from Green Bros. Earth Works here in Atlanta.  Their mix of topsoil, NutraMulch, and granite sand makes a concoction that our vegetables love!  (Although we still dump in the mushroom compost from time to time — in the middle of the growing season, your vegetables will thank you for that extra TLC).

There are always a few extras to toss in when planting certain vegetables and flowers, and every gardener has their favorite secret ingredient — tomato plants love a bit of lime, coffee grounds worked into the soil are always a big hit for any vegetable bed, and at home we feed our roses an “ambrosia” that includes beer and fish emulsion.  A bit stinky, but it packs a big punch!

So, as promised, here are a few photos of the new raised boxes we’ve added to our home garden, as well as a couple of “before” photos of an area that we designed and planted last week.  In true Southern style, we’ve incorporated a cottage garden into our landscape complete with roses, lavender, and several other old-fashioned blooming perennials that will wow us with their color while attracting hummingbirds and butterflies in droves (we hope).  The vegetables themselves have not been added to the garden quite yet.  Seeds are sprouting in trays all around the house, and as soon as the ground is a bit warmer we’ll start settling them all into their proper places.

I hope that you’ll look around your yard this weekend and try to envision the potential. Where can you add a bit of color? Do you have an area that would make an inviting home for a raised vegetable bed, or an herb garden? Our children have been so excited to plant their seeds and get their hands dirty while helping us “prep” for our summer showcase, and it’s a really good feeling to know that we’re teaching them about being green and working the earth. Food really does taste better when you grow it in your own backyard, zinnia blossoms truly are more beautiful when you’ve coaxed them from seed, and passing the love of gardening — whether on a large or small scale — down to your children is something that will stay with you, and them, for a lifetime.

P.S.  Check back for the “after” photos — they’ll be here soon!

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