One Harsh Winter!
We had one of the coldest winters on record here in Wisconsin. At one point we even hit -50ºF with the windchill…now that is cold!
In preparation for spring planting, I had to think a bit out of the box this year. You see we still have snow on the ground, which actually isn’t all that unusual for this time of the year in Wisconsin.
Before I can even think about planting seeds (cool weather seeds) out into my garden, I must first thaw the soil out first.
Getting A Jumpstart On The Growing Season
Now I have already started my seeds indoors, but some of my seeds (like lettuce) do best sowed directly into the soil.
If you are interested in growing your seeds indoors here is a great video to help you out!
So when your seedlings are ready or if you are planning on sowing some seeds into your soil, you will need your soil thawed out.
Warm Your Soil Up For Early Planting
So it really is quite simple to warm your soil up. You will need Black Plastic Sheeting and some bricks or stones to hold the plastic down.
Simply drape theBlack Plastic Sheeting over the garden bed you wish to thaw out and put bricks around the perimeter to hold the plastic in place.
Black Plastic Sheeting is important because it will heat up faster and thaw out the soil quickly, so be sure that it is black.
Here is what your bed should look like when finished. Now just wait. Depending on the weather, it could take anywhere from 3-7 days to thaw out.
Once thawed out, your soil will be ready for early planting. I have a post coming out this week to add a simple mini greenhouse to this raised bed so stay tuned for that!
Would the black sheeting also kill off any weed/seeds that are in the soil?
Halle Cottis says
Weeds are so stubborn. It depends on the weed/seed. They might grow back once the soil sees the light again.
Please, if you’re reading this, do not put plastic sheeting over your garden beds. Cutting off oxygen to your soil is a terrible idea and will cause more problems than whatever time you “save” by trying to heat up the soil early. All the aerobic microbes, all the worms, all the fungi… all the things which make nutrition available to plants will die if they don’t have oxygen.