The Q&A Archives: Reconstructing Veggie Garden

Question: The previous owners covered the flower beds with plastic & put rocks on top. I don't know how long it's been this way. Is the soil underneath appropriate for growing vegetables? Or are important vitamins & nutrients missing? How can I prepare the soil?

Answer: On the plus side, soil that's been covered with plastic and rocks probably won't have any viable weed seeds lurking in it. You can rehabilitate the area by removing the plastic and spreading 4"-6" of organic matter over the soil surface. Use aged-compost or aged-manure and dig it in to a depth of 6"-8". Organic matter will loosen the soil and add important nutrients. After planting your veggies, mulch around the plants with another 3" of organic matter to help suppress weeds.

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