vegetable garden - Knowledgebase Question

peotone, Il
Question by wayneski7645
April 13, 2009
last year my vegetable was a flop because the soil is not good what can i add to the soil to have a healthy and productive vegetable garden?

Answer from NGA
April 13, 2009


Add lots of organic matter. Compost in bulk is usually available through companies dealing with top soil and if you have a pickup truck you can pick it up at these types of places. Or, you can have it delivered but there is usually a minimum amount that they will deliver so do some phoning around. Aged manure is another good amendment, as are shredded leaves. I don't know if your city or town recycles garden debris but if they do they generally shred and compost it and charge a nominal fee if you want to pick up the finished product. In a pinch I've picked up bags of sterilized steer manure at the garden center and incorporated it into the garden. This may work for you, as well. It takes several years to turn garden soil into rich loam so plan on adding organic matter every year to build up your soil. I start with a 4-5 inch layer of organic matter and dig it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. Plant your veggies and then mulch over the bare soil with another 2-3 inches of organic matter. This mulch will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the bed and spread another 2-3 inches of organic matter over the entire bed. Repeating this every year for the next few years will greatly improve the soil and you should see a big difference in your vegetable harvest. Best wishes with your garden!

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