November 9, 2007, Newsletter Issue #89: Repeat Performance Planting

Tip of the Week

Remember the fish you had in grade school? Your mom told you to change the water. You didn't. One day, you found yourself struggling through a toilet bowl funeral. You're learning how to plant a garden, especially a raised garden build directly on existing sod.

While you've kept the weeds out, you plan to do succession planting when gardening raised beds. You're planting lettuce in Virginia in March before the last frost, and lima beans in the summer. You might think you don't need to add soil amenders or fertilizer each time. All we can say is, remember that fish!

You don't want to deplete the soil after you've put so much work and planned how to garden, so prepare raw manure three to six months before you plan to plant the lima beans--you don't want to burn the roots! For the fall when you're planting lettuce again, select kelp meal from seaweed (ironically, algae may save your plants--it clouded your fish tank before!)

Lettuce leaf has a high nutrient demand--on the other hand, you can probably get away with fewer nutrients for lima beans, but be sure to refresh the soil anyway. After all, you'd look silly conducting a bathroom funeral for your plants...but you'll always cherish your pet goldfish.

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