Table of contents:
- Why prepare the beds in advance?
- In what sequence should the beds be prepared?
- How to dig up the beds?
- Preparing beds for certain crops
- The subtleties of feeding warm beds in the autumn
- A few words about mulching
Video: Proper Preparation Of The Beds In The Fall. Digging Features. Fertilization, Liming
Now is the very beginning of autumn, the whole crop has not even been harvested from the site yet. But you may not believe that in order to ensure the next season's harvest, it is time to start preparing the vacated soil for future beds. And this is not a joke at all: it is necessary to prepare this soil not anyhow, but correctly, so as not to be disappointed in the harvest of next year. How to prepare the beds, how to properly dig up and apply fertilizers for the most common vegetable crops right now, we will tell you today.
It is clear that the formation of the aboveground mass, the formation of a crop that we harvest, consume or store, leads to the removal of various elements from the soil. First of all, it is the well-known nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. So, immediately after harvesting and when preparing the beds for the new season, it is advisable to make up for the deficiency of these elements in the soil, although it is not visible to the naked eye.
The autumn period is almost an ideal period for applying various kinds of fertilizers, which during the winter time will "reach" the soil, and the plants sown or planted on the beds we have made will begin to consume them already in an accessible form, and not wait until they turn into such, wasting precious time on their development and forcing us to wait longer for the harvest.
For example, organics and various minerals: in fact, any vegetable crops perceive and react to them in a purely positive way. However, in order for the root system to perceive this or that element, it must already be in an accessible, dissolved form, and this takes time. This is exactly the time that winter is.
Of course, when choosing fertilizers, you need to take into account a number of factors - this is the biology of the culture, which in the future will grow in this place, and the type of soil (heavy, sandy soil, black soil, and so on) and even the weather conditions at a given time, which determine including the condition of the soil.
So, there is enough reasoning, we go directly to the rules for preparing the beds in the autumn period for the next season.
Why prepare the beds in advance?
This question is often asked: after all, there is spring, when you can have time to prepare the beds, and sow seeds, and plant seedlings. Yes, it is absolutely true, but, firstly, not all fertilizers will have time to go into a form accessible to plants, as we said above, and secondly, spring is such a fleeting period that in fact, you can simply not have time to do everything, as it is necessary. Remember the Russian proverb in the words of a peasant peasant: "Drop your hat in the spring - I won't lift it" (that is, so busy).
On top of that, if we prepare the beds for winter in the fall, think for yourself how much we will ease spring worries: all that needs to be done is to loosen the already prepared beds, make holes for planting seedlings or furrows to sow seeds, and start carrying out the usual procedures related to seedlings or seedlings, without rushing anywhere and without being late.
In what sequence should the beds be prepared?
The first step is to clear the places of future beds from weeds and plant residues and burn them outside the territory of the site, although if they are without signs of disease, then it is quite possible to lay them in a compost heap, and then apply as fertilizer for digging the soil and, if necessary, then add chalk or lime along with fertilizers to bring the pH back to normal.
You need to clear weeds as thoroughly as possible, all creeping weeds, wheatgrass with parts of its root system and dandelions just need to be excluded (uprooted) from the garden in all possible ways, they should not be there, no matter how much effort you spend on it.
When the soil is free of weeds and plant residues, that is, it is in a pure state, it can be enriched with the elements necessary for each plant - these are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Since nothing will grow on these beds in the current season, urea (20-25 g per square meter), superphosphate (18-20 g per square meter) and potassium chloride (15-20 g per square meter) can be added.). In this case, you should not be afraid of potassium chloride, because until spring the chlorine will be neutralized and will be safe for plants. In addition, it is advisable to add well-rotted manure at 5-6 kg per square meter, or humus (3-4 kg per square meter) and wood ash (stove or soot) at 250-300 g per square meter of soil.
If the soil of your site is heavy and clayey, then you need to add river sand in a bucket per square meter, preferably interspersed with compost in the same amount, this will increase the looseness of the soil and enhance its fertility.
Sandy soils poorly retain moisture and nutrients, here it is necessary to add a bucket of clay per square meter, as well as well-rotted compost (5-6 kg per square meter), leaf humus (3-4 kg per square meter) and sawdust (bucket per square meter). Be careful about sawdust - they can acidify the soil, so you need to use the most gray, that is, almost rotted sawdust.
Acid soils, where the acid-base balance (pH) is below 6.0, must be lime or chalk. If the acidity is below 4.5, then lime should be used at 200-250 g per square meter, if the acidity is from 5.5 to 4.6, then chalk: add 250-300 g of chalk per square meter.
Naturally, fertilizers, chalk, and lime - all this in the autumn, when preparing the beds, is brought in for digging, by initial scattering over the surface and then sealed by digging onto a full bayonet of a shovel.
How to dig up the beds?
Usually, there are two main options for digging the soil - this is a dump-free method and a dump. Let's start with the non-moldboard method of digging. With the moldless method of digging, they try to do so that the earthen lump for the most part does not break and turn over. The purpose of such soil digging is to maximize the preservation of the beneficial microflora of both the lower and upper soil layers. Clods of earth also do not break.
With the moldboard method of digging, lumps of soil turn over and break. Usually, the second option is often used when preparing the beds in the fall. Thus, we embed fertilizers deep into the soil, and with them chalk or lime, if necessary, and literally pull the wintering stages of pests and diseases to the surface.
In this case, it is undesirable to break up clods of soil, because in this case the soil will freeze to a great depth, disinfecting as much as possible. But if you decide to prepare a full-fledged bed with clearly delineated edges and in the spring do not worry about breaking up clods, then it is better to bring the digging business to the end: break up the clods, level the bed and make, by filling layers of soil when digging on top of each other, a bed a couple of centimeters higher soil level, so that as a result, the soil on it warms up faster than on the rest of the site.
Preparing beds for certain crops
So, we talked about how to prepare the garden as a whole. There is nothing difficult in this: we free the site, apply fertilizers for digging, try to dig up the bed with an increase in the soil level, thus outlining the edges of the future bed, but this is in general. It seems to us that we also need to tell about how to properly prepare a bed for the main crops, which certainly are in every garden, beds for them can also be prepared in the fall.
So, in order for the dining room beets to grow well, you need to choose the most illuminated area, where the soil is light and well-drained. Ideally, of course, in the fall, the beet bed should be cooked on sandy loam and loam with neutral acidity. On heavy soils, clayey, for example, beets will grow poorly even with enough food. You should also avoid places where melt, irrigation, rainwater accumulates for a long time, and, of course, acidified soils.
The best precursors for table beets are crops that leave the site early - cucumbers, squash, early potatoes, early sweet peppers and eggplant, and again early tomatoes. Do not sow table beets after spinach, rapeseed, carrots, chard and cabbage.
In the fall, when preparing the soil for beets, it is advisable to apply organic fertilizers, for example, compost or humus in the amount of half a bucket per square meter of the future garden. From mineral fertilizers, it is quite possible to add potassium chloride in an amount of 12-14 g per square meter, as well as ammonium nitrate and superphosphate at 22-25 g per square meter.
The only thing that is not recommended to be added to the soil when preparing the beds for beets, even in the autumn, is fresh manure, because there is a possibility of an increase in nitrates in the next year's harvest.
Next, we prepare a bed for pumpkin and zucchini
You need to know that these crops are generally unpretentious and just remarkably react to various fertilizers contained in the soil. Manure can be applied under them, but it is well rotted and in the amount of 3 - 4 kg per square meter of the garden, no more, of course - for digging.
As for the choice of place, the soils should be neutral, therefore, if acid prevails, then chalk or lime must also be added for digging.
The best predecessors for pumpkin and zucchini are: potatoes, onions, cabbage, root vegetables and legumes, but the worst are considered to be cucumbers, zucchini and squash.
Take particular care of the soil, so if the soil is clay, then, as in the general preparation of the garden, half a bucket of humus and a bucket of river sand per square meter should be added under the pumpkin and zucchini for digging. As for mineral fertilizers, 10-15 g of superphosphate, 250 g of ash and 15 g of potassium sulfate is enough.
On sandy soils on which you decide to grow squash and pumpkin, add a bucket of clay and half a bucket of humus per square meter.
Dill and other greens
To get a good harvest of dill and other greens, you first need to deal with the predecessors. Good predecessors for green crops are: cabbage, tomatoes and onions, and bad ones are parsnips, celery and carrots.
Further, try to choose the most well-lit garden bed in the fall, and, therefore, the most heated one. Ideally, the soil should be made as fertile as possible and try to keep snow on it by throwing it with spruce branches. Do not forget to pay attention to the acidity of the future bed, green crops grow poorly on acidic soil, therefore lime and the introduction of chalk for digging, subject to high acidity, are necessary.
For green crops, the preparation of the garden in the fall is not difficult, the digging depth should not be very large, only 22-23 cm. Be sure to add 2-3 kg of well-rotted manure per square meter and 15-20 g of ammonium nitrate, 8-10 g of potassium sulfate and 10-12 g of superphosphate for the same area. In the spring, it remains only to loosen the finished bed, make grooves for sowing, be sure to water them (2-3 liters of water per meter) and compact them slightly before sowing in order to prevent the seeds from sinking (a couple of centimeters of depth is enough).
Preparing tomato beds
Tomatoes - their best predecessors are: beets, cucumbers, onions, beans, carrots, various greens, peas, corn and zucchini, and the bad ones are potatoes, late cabbage, peppers and eggplant.
With this sorted out, now let's pick up a site for tomatoes before it gets cold. The best will be fertile soil, it is enough to dig it up, and if it is acidic, then lime it (150-200 g per square meter), but with fertilizers, in particular superphosphate, which tomatoes adore, you can take your time and just scatter it over the surface of the soil without digging. By the way, tomatoes react very jealously to the level of acidity and the dose that we indicated may not work on different types of soils. For example, if you have sandstone or loam in your area, it is better to add 250 g of lime for digging, and if medium and heavy loams, then 350 g of lime and also for digging.
Do not make too high beds for tomatoes, do not forget that they are tall plants themselves, so 22-23 cm is quite enough and about a meter wide, no more is needed either.
Well, cucumbers, because you are unlikely to find an area where cucumbers do not grow, but only tomatoes or cabbage. The best predecessors for cucumbers are: tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, onions, legumes, spinach, rhubarb, early and cauliflower, beets, carrots and greens, but the worst are: cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, melon and watermelon.
Ideally, in the fall, the garden bed should be made so that it is light, preferably loamy or sandy loam. If only clay and heavy soil is available, then add a bucket of river sand per square meter for digging. By the way, cucumbers grow well on slightly acidic soil, so if this is the case with you, then you should not worry.
The beds for cucumbers must be dug up onto a full bayonet of a shovel with the introduction of 5-6 kg of well-rotted manure.
The subtleties of feeding warm beds in the autumn
In the autumn, you can build a warm bed, first you need to knock down a box from the boards, usually a meter wide and two meters long, put a layer of drainage in the base, it can be, in fact, any large garbage, for example, various branches, pieces of boards, stumps, tops of plants. You can sprinkle all this with river sand, sawdust, chips, weeds, peelings of potatoes and other vegetables, you need to put leaf litter, humus on top and sprinkle wood ash. Of course, the layer should be such that fertile garden soil (20-30 cm) fits on top, in which vegetable crops will grow in the next season.
A few words about mulching
Questions arise whether it is necessary to mulch the beds prepared in the fall, the answer will be yes. In principle, mulch, if it is made from natural components (the same leaf litter pressed by spruce branches), then it will not in any way affect the vital processes of beneficial microorganisms in the garden bed you have built. Therefore, in the spring, after removing the mulch, the bed will look even fresher. The main thing is to remove the mulch early so that the soil warms up faster.