The Q&A Archives: Rejuvenating Soil

Question: I have planted corn in the same area too long. What is the best way to rejuvenate the soil so I can plant corn there with better results again? I have put in a lot of chicken manure and fall leaves. I don't have a choice of planting somewhere else. I just need to help the soil that I have overworked with corn.

Answer: For starters, I would suggest that you contact your local county extension service (ph# 503/588-5301) for a soil test. That way you'll amend the soil according to its specific needs, so you'll get a wonderful crop of whatever you want to grow.

Adding organic matter to the soil is the best way to improve its composition and nutrient levels. Add lots of compost and/or well-rotted manure when you till in the spring, and continue to add grass clippings, shredded leaves, and more compost throughout the summer. (You can use these as mulch to help control weeds.) Cover cropping is another way to improve soils.

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