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Use a PH tester before planting particularly of you mix your own soil and compost. these hand held ones are not always the most accurate, but testing in multiple locations on a bed will give you an indication if there is a problem. Most vegetables prefer a slightly acid to neutral PH of 6.5-7.0 But, other crops such as blueberries prefer very acid soil like PH 4.5-5.5 and still other plants like some fruit and nut trees need some alkalinizing.

Mulch your garden over winter. Mulching protects your soil from weather damage while not being used in the winter. Fallow periods for garden beds are good once in awhile to allow the soil to rest. When sprouting winter crops, peel the mulch back so that the soil surface can warm in the sun, but after plants emerge gently surround them with mulch again to keep them insulated from frost. If using hay as pictured here make sure it is seedless or grass will sprout from it.

from Everyday Gardeners

Get Your Garden Off the Ground (And Into the Air)

Get Your Garden Off the Ground (And Into the Air): Gardening vertically can actually increase your vegetable production and offer you a bigger bounty. All that air circulation and sunlight helps maintain healthy foliage and healthy plants (with little or no pests and disease) offer bigger yields — even if it is in a smaller space.