Before any serious planting takes place, I’m beginning to prepare the school’s raised beds. When I first filled the beds three years ago, I added some cow manure to the soil but since then, the beds have only had a mulch of leaves and newspaper and a top up of soil added to them. The soil in the beds looks dark and the level is fine now but this spring, I’m adding some more cow compost/ manure. ‘Kugjødsel’ is sold in bags at local garden centres here. I’m not really sure how unprepared this is (although it doesn’t have a discernible odour when you open the bag). Cow manure isn’t as high in nitrogen as other manures (chicken or horse) however it’s typically recommended to leave some time between adding the manure and using the bed (how long will vary depending on the type of manure). I’m only adding it to the squash bed for now as they are heavy feeders and it’ll be at least 4 weeks before any seedlings are planted out. Hopefully that will be long enough to prevent any root scorch.
There’s been a fair amount of rainfall in April and the soil is still a little wet. It registers at about 2-3 degrees celsius so it’s got a way to go before I start sowing.
I cover the beds with a black weed membrane to stop weeds from taking over, and to warm up the soil so that I can sow earlier and get things going sooner. When I come back in a couple of weeks I’ll test the soil again to see if it’s ready for some direct sowing.