CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — Do you know what the single most important step is for a successful garden? Scott Sabol is in the Fox 8 Garden with AJ Petitti, President of Petitti Garden Centers, and learns what the #1 single most ingredient is if you want a good vegetable harvest or full flowerbed.

The Petitti Team has compiled tips for helping you accomplish this important step. Preparing the soil is the most important thing to do for your veggie garden, and now’s the time to start!

  • If you’re building a new garden, don’t rely solely on topsoil to fill it. Topsoil can be part of the mixture, but it’s mostly filler, not rich in organics and nutrients. Make sure to blend plenty of organic planting mix into the area, plus all of the items listed next.
  • If you’re working with an established garden, replenish the nutrients stripped out of the soil during last year’s growing season by last year’s vegetables & herbs. All of the following can be applied at that same time, per package directions, to add nutrients back into your garden soil:
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Composted cow manure
  • Garden-tone® organic plant food
  • Lightning Lime™ to balance soil pH (soil leans acidic in NE Ohio)
  • Soil Perfector™ to prevent our clay soil compaction
  • Fresh organic planting mix (like Petitti Planting Mix or similar)

Turn it over, rototill it in, and you’re all set!

  • Install weed barrier to save you from the hassle of garden weeds later on in the season, and install soaker hoses if that’s your preferred method of watering.
  • Cold crops can be planted immediately, like leafy lettuces, spinach, kale, cabbage, potatoes, and tons more, but you’ll want to wait to install any summer heat-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers until mid/late May when we’re past the threat of nighttime frosts.