Pictured: Soil that is ready to plant.
*Note: This article was written by Carmen from a conversation with Vicky Shaffer.
This time of year anyone doing any planting is playing 'weather watch'. There is no guarantee that this weekends 70 degrees is any type of predictor for next weekend where we might be under twelve inches of snow-who knows?
According to Vicky Shaffer the best way to tell if your garden is ready to plant (after getting the soil tested, of course) is to go out to your garden, dig about 5 inches down and grab a big handful of it!
Why? 'You never put seeds in wet ground' Vicky states. 'The perfect time to do it is when you have dry ground and napping kids' she jokes. But what does 'wet ground' mean? The fertile soil of Illinois could easily be misconstrued as 'wet'.
Vicky says when you grab that handful of dirt, squeeze it in your hand. What does it do? Does it hold together at all? Like play-dough? If so, the soil is too moist. On the other hand, if you grab a handful and it falls out with the consistency of dry cake mix-you're ready to plant!
Let us know your thoughts or questions by posting a comment!
Our next topic with Vicky: Why to plant by the 'sign of the moon'?