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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

More on Soil Prep

There isn't a lot of time between when the spring garden expires and the fall garden calls out to be planted with those first seeds.

When it's time to get busy with a new season of planting like it has been the last few weeks for the fall garden, the concentration becomes soil preparation.

Taking the time and energy to create the foundation to the garden is every ounce as important as choosing seeds/plants for growing. When done correctly the rewards are always greater than the effort put out.

Mr. Meems and I have been in and out of town so much lately it has taken a diligent effort to work around the planting calendar. I'm a little behind on planting a few of those early seeds but it will all work out ... I have confidence in our Florida weather.
My sweet niece shoveled up some bags (from her horse farm) of a fabulous mixture of well-aged horse manure and shavings. With my best helper always willing and handy we broke up the clumps and mixed it in with another mixture of rich mushroom compost puchased at a North Florida nursery.
It was then layered on top of the new soil that had been added a few weeks ago. Then my little 'water bug' happily gave it a good dousing to settle it in. We had a great rain following our project, too. So perfect!

Sometimes I wonder if I don't get just as excited about this part of gardening as I do the actual planting!
There is something so inspiring about amending soil.

What is that? All that beautiful earthy material!

The smell. The feel. The appearance. The prospects. The promise of life it nurtures.


  1. Well done! And you sure have a cute helper. :)

  2. In a odd kind of way soil amending is my favorite part of gardening. It must be from all those years of composting...making something from nothing. Scott

  3. Meems, I understand how you feel about working with the soil... It really is fun to do!!!!

    Glad you have a wonderful helper..


  4. Without good soil and compost, our gardens would be miserable, wouldn't they? Your little helper looks so cute!

  5. You have such great help in your garden! Mushroom compost is available here, but I've not used it since I don't know if can only be used for certain plants. I have mostly drought tolerant, lean soil types, not shady, moist types. Do you have more insight into the right way to use it?


  6. Written like the true gardener you are!

  7. Thanks for a timely reminder, Meems. I want to get started on preparing a new bed for next spring. Rather than hurry through the soil prep in order to plant, as I usually do, I'm going to do a better job of making sure the soil is the best it can be before planting all those expensive daylilies.

  8. Hi meems, There is something exciting about prepping a new garden bed, the smell of fresh and healthy soil and thinking about what to plant.
    It's fun, too, to imagine what it will be like to (still too far off) have a sweet garden helper.

  9. Soil preparations sure are fun. Just getting your hands in the soil is comfort.
    That sure is a great little helper you have.

  10. meems, i agree, soil preparation is so exciting and this is what i am doing these days. Cute helper you have got. And soil is looking cool too. best of luck.

  11. Looks like good stuff Meeems. Your plants will think that they have died and gone to heaven!

  12. I love what you have done Meems. The new bed is amazing, and every little bit of instruction that you can give is just so appreciated. My succulent bed is coming along. It had been amended over the years, and it felt strange to be removing the rich soil to add more sand and gravel!


  13. I wish I had a niece that had a horse farm! Is she from the Ocala area?.......You know we've got a few horse farms around here. lol.

  14. I would be in the garden more if I had such a good helper. I bet he is a good digger.

  15. hey there meems,

    what a great job on getting your soil ready. so glad you got some good manure from the farm...what an instant help that will be.
    gotta love the sweet helper in the garden.
    enjoy your planting
    september blessings

  16. Nancy,
    My helper makes my whole world go better. He's about the size and age of your little helper so I know you know. :-)

    "something from nothing"... maybe that's part of it for me, too... I LOVE messing with the compost and digging and mixing and spreading dirt!

    Soil is good for the soul of any gardener I suppose.

    Yes, especially in Florida where the natural soil is very sandy and dry.

    When I look at your garden the only thing I can think is that you are using all the 'right stuff' for your garden. I think you have it figured out for your climate and what you grow! That said, I don't intend to amend the soil in my front, sunny space where I've planted plants that appreciate the poorer soil and less water.


    It's perfect you are planning now for spring. Getting started now is the best way to take your time and get the foundation right... you will be SO happy you did when all those pretty daylilies are thanking you for it.

    There's always something to plan and anticipate in a garden that's for certain. Having my little guy participating in any part of it adds to my joy!

    All that beautiful soil just waiting for seeds and plants ... very exciting.

    Thank you... good soil prep is universal isn't it!

    You are right... I think I could hear them singing Hallelujahs. :-)

    I thought of you the other day when I bought some Autumn Joy Sedum for a try. Found some in N. FL... transplanted it to a pot with perlite and sand as all this amended soil would never do.

    She IS in Ocala of course... where all the horse farms are... shoot me your e-mail ... I'll check with her about sharing. :-)

    He LOVES to DIG... and dig he does. I'm not sure if he likes playing in the water more or digging more... so we just let him do either whenever he wants to. :-)

    You are a good sister! You gave this a good go... thank you.

    Yes, your daughter was a blessing bringing me all that good stuff already bagged up and ready to use. Now if I just get to planting those seeds... I am so behind!

  17. Looks like a lot of love went into prepping your bed Meems. Imagine that. . . a fall garden!

    Your little helper is adorable. How wonderful he's learning about soil prep and gardening from such a gifted teacher.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

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