Soil and Compost forum→Converting Lawn to Vegetable Plot: Amending soil, Rototiller or Manual Method?

Views: 191, Replies: 13 » Jump to the end

RookieCanuckGardener
May 5, 2021 7:16 AM CST
Hi guys! Just recently begun converting my lawn to a garden plot (roughly 10x25 feet). I ran a rototiller through the area and have removed most of the grass along with a bit of the soil. The soil remains a bit compacted. Seems like I'm working with clay-ish soil. I'd like to mix in some compost to the pre-existing soil to help improve the soil structure. I am not sure how best to approach this.

Should I?
- Rent a rototiller to mix in the compost
- Double-dig
- Use a combination of broadfork, spade fork, and cultivator hoe to help aerate and amend soil

Please advise, thanks!

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Name: Chip
Medicine Bow Range, Wyoming (Zone 3a)
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subarctic
May 5, 2021 11:31 AM CST
If you've got a broadfork, go with that.

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Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
May 5, 2021 12:43 PM CST
It depends on how full of energy you are.
How deep did you roto-till?

If you want a good initial preperation, take a sand shovel and dig a hole approx. 12 inches deep , take that soil and toss it where ever you wish.
Dig a similar hole next to it, putting soil in previous hole till you have done the whole garden.
Then If you can afford it haul in a some bulk compost, or manure, spread that on top and roto-till that in .

I do this every summer to a point when I dig my potatoes which are planted DEEP, digging a hole, removing potatoes and placing remaining decomposed mulch, plant material in that hole, and then filling it in with dirt from the next potato.
I have black clay type soil and do not , deliberately break up the clumps I get when digging hole, winter freeze and snow breaks them up.
I roto-till deep once each spring but after you have done the initial deep prep. you may roto-till or not as you see fit.
I put semi-decomposed sheep manure on my garden every few years as I see fit.



Name: Kenny Shively
Rineyville, KY. region 10. (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Region: Kentucky
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kennysh
May 6, 2021 7:24 AM CST
I'am with the broadfork and soil admendments. nodding . Welcome Smiling
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
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sallyg
May 6, 2021 7:40 AM CST
I think opinions will be split. Depends on how much money or elbow grease you want to use. Whatever way, this year will be a learning experience.

The soil will get better over years. Clay can be fertile as it naturally holds minerals.

Location?
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: John K.
Malaysia
Organic Gardener
bunnydefluff
May 10, 2021 1:59 AM CST
Nice looking ducks you've got there though Chip.

RookieCanuckGardener
May 11, 2021 5:58 AM CST
Broadfork was the winner this past weekend Smiling Thanks for the warm welcome guys! Hurray!

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
May 11, 2021 7:16 AM CST
Looking great!!!
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
May 11, 2021 11:17 AM CST
Looks good, may phatē be with you.
Taos, New Mexico (Zone 5b)
Crescit Eundo
Greenhouse Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Mexico
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Henderman
May 11, 2021 12:34 PM CST
Nice! Good job.
Its a little early yet, but you might also think about a winter cover crop that will break up and enrich the soil further. Alfalfa and tillage radishes are two examples of cover crops that will reach down into your soil, break it up and leave nutrients behind.
Keep us posted!
Name: Kenny Shively
Rineyville, KY. region 10. (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Region: Kentucky
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kennysh
May 12, 2021 4:02 AM CST
Great job,looks like you are headed for a great growing season. Hurray!
Name: Thomas Mitchell
Central Ohio (Zone 6a)
Composter
Composter
thommesM
May 12, 2021 7:29 AM CST
I know it's late in the game, but it would have been interesting to do a fourth of the garden each way, tilled, double dug, forked, and no dig. Smiling I added the no dig as I favor that. Just strip off the soil layer or put cardboard down and then add compost on top. Let the soil organisms do all the work. I simply add home made compost to the top of the beds at the end of the season and that's all the soil needs for me.
Everyone has something they can teach; everyone has something they can learn.

"America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success. "
— Sigmund Freud

RookieCanuckGardener
May 16, 2021 6:44 PM CST
Henderman said:Nice! Good job.
Its a little early yet, but you might also think about a winter cover crop that will break up and enrich the soil further. Alfalfa and tillage radishes are two examples of cover crops that will reach down into your soil, break it up and leave nutrients behind.
Keep us posted!


100% onboard with the cover crops Henderman Smiling All of you guys rock by the way!

Gardening is very much a team sport!

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[Last edited by RookieCanuckGardener - May 16, 2021 6:49 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2505185 (13)
Name: Kenny Shively
Rineyville, KY. region 10. (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Region: Kentucky
Image
kennysh
May 17, 2021 8:11 AM CST
Excellent looking beds Rookie. Lot of work, will be rewarded with great plants. Hurray! Thumbs up Smiling

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