Gardening is always better with buddies! This was an exciting week at Old Trail Farm because our new interns, Maddie, India, and Becca, were all here to help me prep tomato beds. We’ll show you how we prepped the beds this week, then next week we’ll show you how to plant everyone’s favorite garden treat – tomatoes!

First, we mulched the path between the beds with wood chips and pulled back the tarp we used for kill mulch, as discussed in this Victory Garden Gurus blog post.

Next, India used a broadfork like this one to loosen and aerate the soil. Broadforks serve the same purpose as tilling, without disturbing the soil structure or helpful critters that live in the soil too much.

 

Becca then broadcast some fertilizer to give our hungry tomatoes a healthy start. We chose a fertilizer based on our soil test results and organic certification requirements. We used Re-Vita Pro from Ohio Earth Food, which is awesome! In my home garden I like Down to Earth and Espoma products.

 

Here’s India again, working the fertilizer into the soil with a three tine cultivator like this.

 

Last but not least, Maddie topped off the beds with a nice thick layer of leaf humus for mulch. This will keep our tomato roots cool and moist this summer, and keep weeds from competing for water and nutrients.

 

We’re all set to plant our tomatoes next week, after they’ve been hardened off, of course, like we talked about here.

All that hard work deserved a bonus! I sent each of our interns away with a dozen eggs from my spoiled flock of chickens at home. Egg-cellent work, ladies – interns AND hens!