My spring routine is to turn the soil of my garden beds. Today I turned three of my beds. I use a standard garden shovel and flip the soil over onto itself – the way my dad showed me years ago. If I have a cover crop, this gets turned under. This year I have a light cover of winter ryegrass. I like the wait a week or so, but sometimes right away, I smooth the soil level with the backside of a metal rake. Finally my irrigation lines get buried and the beds are ready to plant.
Tomorrow the skies are forecast to cloud over and rain is scheduled for the weekend. Once it clouds up, I plan to transplant my broccoli, kale, onions, endive and some lettuce seedlings into the garden. Exciting! My first garden transplants of the year. My pea sprouts are doing well and if I have time, I’ll sow another row or two of pea seeds. Another sign that spring is here is that there is an endless amount of garden work now.
To turn or not to turn? I’ve recently heard that turning ruins the structure of the soil. I’ll have to read more about this. To me, turning mixes in the cover crop, aerates the soil, and is a spring activity I look forward to. With only 360 sq ft, it doesn’t take very long. Afterwards I feel like I’ve done some real work. I can throw my clothes in the wash, eat and sleep well, and look forward to planting.