Planning a new veg garden.

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Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
The intention this year is not to plant, just get a start on the space and try to mitigate as many issues and weeds as possible this year. If that seems reasonable? I do have access to small implements for the tractor (3 furrow plow, small disks, and small cultivator) which may be helpful if required. My wonder is, if deep tilling (plow) is going to expose more weed seeds that may be deep in the soil? As stated earlier I was thinking I would add some new topsoil (4-6") and approximately the same (4-6") of organic compost. I could also get manure as there are most types of the typical animal farms nearby.(cow,sheep,goat,chicken,horse)
Yes, that is reasonable. The test garden I did was in a fallow field growing on clay fill dirt. It was pretty bad. Tilling was necessary to break up the crust, mix in the covering tall grasses and to fully mix in the compost. This was with a tractor tiller to a depth of 10-12". That got us off to a surprisingly good start the first year. Much better than expected. You can plant afterward or cover and may not need to till again. Weed seeds are a fact of life. Mulch heavily to keep them minimal. Grass clipping work fine if you have a grass catcher and the lawn has no pesticides or weed killer applied to it.

If you add manures I would be sure that they were not fed any hay from fields that had an herbicide applied to control weeds like thistle, etc. If none, then yes, add some manure too. If herbicides were used, then skip it. Test the soil before adding so that you amend accordingly. A full panel test will provide the carbon content, pH, N-P-K values, and key element content. I get mine done by the county or by mail at the UMASS in Amherst, MA.
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Minister of Fire
Apr 15, 2014
It's been so hot here with no rain to make the soil work up nice that I have made no headway at all on preparing the area. No rain in sight for another week or so according to the weather folks :( I am confident that I will get the necessary moisture at some point .....all the farmers crops are showing signs of starting to burn up. We need rain bad.