chrisfromtx
Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:20 pm
Location: Athens, Texas

Preparing beds now for coming Spring

I live in East Texas where our winters are fairly mild. I can probably work outside through December. What can I do now to prepare for the landscaping I want to do in the Spring? I'm thinking more along the lines of preparing the soil, but I would appreciate any advice. Thanks, Chris V

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11670
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Preparing beds now for coming Spring

The best thing you can do now is start a compost pile with all the fall trimmings. If you make the pile correctly it will be ready to add to the soil in the Spring.

If your winters are mild you can plant some things now. They will grow slowly over the winter but their roots will be stronger in the Spring.

For veggie gardens you can plant cold hardy plants like Kale which does not mind a dusting of snow.

I have a mild winter, actually, I have a rainy season and no snow. I am planting cool season veggies now like broccoli, garlic, onions, beets, and Asian greens.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

chrisfromtx
Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:20 pm
Location: Athens, Texas

Re: Preparing beds now for coming Spring

Thanks for the info. At one time I had a compost pile but never achieved the heat that others talk about. Will that keep the roaches away, I had a problem with that last time. I love the idea of using newspaper, cardboard, and paper bags to keep the weeds out. I'm all for repurposing discards. Thanks again, Chris V

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Preparing beds now for coming Spring

If it gets hot enough, it will keep cockroaches and other critters away. My compost doesn't usually heat up that much and I usually do have a few roaches in it. If you have an infestation of them, it is probably a sign that something is wrong - the pile is staying too wet, things aren't decomposing, etc. I don't mind the few roaches, because I figure that is where they belong. They are detritovores and are part of the process of breaking things down. One time I was turning compost moving the fresher stuff to a new pile. A cockroach came out of the bottom of the old pile (where there wouldn't be much food left) and zipped right over to the new pile I had just made. I found that oddly reassuring, like it knew its place. You will never find them in your finished compost, because there is nothing left in that for them to eat.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11670
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Preparing beds now for coming Spring

I haven't seen a compost pile yet that hasn't had critters. I get roaches in the worm bin and I have to regularly evict them.

To get a compost pile to heat up you need to get the right mix of greens and browns, air, and water. It also doesn't hurt to add a nitrogen source like manure and a few shovels of compost or dirt to seed the pile with organisms. The pile has to be a minimum of 3x3x3 ft. You can make it longer but it has to be at least three feet high. I have only been able to achieve that by building the pile in a day. If I keep adding bits and pieces to the pile continuously it does not heat up. It still makes compost but it is cold compost and I can only use clean materials otherwise weeds will grow in the pile and diseases may not be killed.

Mulching is a good idea but on the veggie beds you can also grow a green manure that will be tilled in before planting. Green manures keep weeds down and will sequester nutrients and when it is tilled back in, the nutrients will be released.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

chrisfromtx
Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:20 pm
Location: Athens, Texas

Re: Preparing beds now for coming Spring

You guys are awesome. I feel at home. Thanks so much, Chris



Return to “Landscaping”