How do I revamp my veggie garden's health - Knowledgebase Question

glenwood, Il
Question by stephcedtoo
July 29, 2010
My veggie garden needs to be recessitated! I pretty much have planted the same thing every year, just in different spots in my 4x4 garden patch. I know I'm not supposed to,but i like what i like!I also have garden pests leaving holes and whatnot in my veggie leaves. Would starting over help and how do i do that.Adding mulch,organic manure and biweekly feedings haven't helped


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Answer from NGA
July 29, 2010

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Planting in the same spots year after year can encourage the build up of insect pests and disease pathogens but incorporating compost each year should help renovate and recharge the soil. It might help to allow the garden to be empty for a season, or at least a part of a growing season, or to plant a cover crop in late summer.

If you decide to plant a cover crop, plant it early enough to permit 4 weeks of growth before cold weather stops that growth.

After preparing the soil, you can plant large-seeded cover crops (peas, vetch, and wheat) in shallow, closely spaced furrows. Broadcast small-seeded crops (ryegrass, buckwheat) over the surface and cover with a light raking. If the soil is dry, irrigate often enough to keep the soil damp and germinate the seeds.

In the spring, as soon as the ground dries enough for tilling or plowing, turn the cover crop under. To allow time for the organic matter to decompose, turn the cover crop under at least 3 weeks before you intend to plant. If the cover crop is too tall to turn under easily, mow it first. Do not allow cover crops to go to seed. (Some, such as vetch, may become weeds in the garden if they are allowed to spread seeds.)

Best wishes with your garden.

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