The Q&A Archives: Soil Ammendments

Question: I have a small vegetable garden in chicago and I have been growing the same vegetables every year for the past 2 or 3 years. What soil ammendments do I need to add to plant the same veggies again this year?
I would rather not rotate
even though I know I should.

Answer: You take a chance of disease pathogens overwintering in the soil or insect eggs just waiting to pounce on your veggies if you do not rotate them, at least to different spots in the same garden bed. With that said, healthy soils can support vegetable plant health so add organic matter each spring to help build your soil. I spread 3-4 inches of compost, aged manure, or other organic matter over the entire bed and dig or till it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. Plant the transplants or sow the seeds and then cover over the bare soil around and between the plants with another 2-3 inches of compost. It will help suppress weeds and slow evaporation. At the end of the growing season dig the mulch into the bed and add fresh. Repeating this annually will result in rich garden loam and a fantastic garden. Best wishes with yours!

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