I have several raised beds where, due to a mild Dallas Winter, my kale, spinach, beets and lettuce are still thriving (with the help of floating row covers).
I'd like to keep these greens vibrant and available as long as I can, but I'm also getting ready to start my Spring veggie seeds under lights with an anticipated transplant to the garden in the March or so time frame.
I'm a big believer in the no-till method of soil management, so my question is, what's the best way to ensure the soil in my beds is "rejuvenated" to be ready and amended for the veggie seedlings?
Do I lightly till all the greens under a new layer of compost? What can I add to replensish the nutrients the greens have been thriving on?
jdbell - There is no "right way" - but if it were me, I would remove the greens and add them to the compost pile. I would then spread finished (or almost finished) compost where the greens were. As I added transplants, I would dig a hole, add some organic fertilizer, mix it all together with the compost/soil, set my plant in the hole, and snuggle up the surrounding soil around the plant. Then I would give everything a good drink of water.
Once the weather warmed up, I would add some kind of mulch between the transplants, being careful not to let the mulch touch the stems.
Yep, this is a dilemma for me too. Here in the Northwest I still have a few things going, too, carrots and radicchio. So when I started my sheet composting for the winter I faced the same decision. Here's my thought process-The garden is about food for me and mine. If working around those carrots means that I can eat my own food in December, that is what I will do. There is soil goodness going on all around them so I am trusting that the power of nature, that I so believe in, will handle the challenge just fine. Besides, growing plants have an action on the soil as well that isn't just "using up" but also contributes.