Dirt on Gardening

Text by Nancy Johnston

Starting an Early Garden

Start a garden easily by covering the chosen area with black plastic weighed down with rocks or bricks to hold it in place, for two weeks in early spring. The sun will heat the plastic and bake the vegetation beneath. If you already have an established bed you can use the same method to heat up your soil so you can plant earlier in the season. Raised beds are another way to give you a higher soil temperature earlier in the season and they also make weeding less strenuous. Use the top halves of large plastic pop bottles as mini greenhouses to protect vulnerable seedlings from late spring frosts and allow for earlier planting.

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