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Caring for soil

If the soil has not been weeded since autumn and is covered in garden rubbish or if there are the remains of autumn or winter vegetables on it, it first has to be cleared - either by removing everything or by digging it in. If you have carefully sown green manure into the beds for the winter, the same procedure applies. If, in contrast, your garden soil has spent the winter as a cleared, tidy area, it just needs harrowing in when March comes along.

Areas that you now freshly dig over should first be exposed to the rain and you must wait two weeks for the soil to settle before harrowing. As soon as the soil has dried out a little after harrowing, level it with a large rake (e.g. a wooden rake), separate the remaining lumps of earth and smooth it all down with a fine pronged rake. Then the bed area is ready for sowing and planting.

When caring for soil in spring, it is also advisable to make loamy or clay soils smoother using coarse sand. Depending on how solid the soil is, around one barrow (around 80 litres) of sand per two to five square metres of beds should do the trick. Conversely, you can replace the sand with loam if the soil is sandy.

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