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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I picked the last of the carrots and jalapenos. Green beans are pretty much over. I planted something like 12 beets. One came in and it was about half the size of a golf ball. Radishes came in a little, then died off quick.

Overall, my small 4x12 garden didn't do nearly as well as it did last year. I'm on, I think, the third year using the same soil. I mix in these Miracle Grow pellet things in before planting, but the soil just seems used up.

I'm thinking perhaps I should dig out a chunk of the soil, and mix in a bit of manure. Does that seem like something I should do? Is there something I could plant while I let the soil regenerate? I live in New England so we only have a month or so before the temps start dipping down. Isn't garlic something I can grow during the winter? Just throw some hay/newpaper over the top and come back in the spring?

Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Manure, mix, plant Winter Rye. Till in the spring.
Just read up on this. Interesting. I'll see where I can get Winter Rye. Maybe TSC carries it.
 

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Take a Knee
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Have you had your soil tested? You can't improve your soil if you don't know what it needs.
 

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If you can get chickens and fence them in the garden. They'll eat the stuff that didn't grow well and the chicken shit will fertilize the garden. In the spring till the garden and eat the chickens. Plus youll get eggs.

If you can't or don't want chickens the above techniques work too.

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If you can get chickens and fence them in the garden. They'll eat the stuff that didn't grow well and the chicken shit will fertilize the garden. In the spring till the garden and eat the chickens. Plus youll get eggs.

If you can't or don't want chickens the above techniques work too.
Naw, can't do chickens. I do, however, have an angora rabbit. Wonder if that would fertilize?

I might just do the winter rye.

Never heard of testing the soil. Maybe I should do that too. I just got a pickup load from the local quarry a couple years back.

I am somewhat new to the gardening scene. I mean, I know the basics. I have a 55 gallon drum attached to the gutters with a hand pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Lots of cow or chicken poop and some quality time with the tiller
I'm not sure if I even need a tiller. I mean, its 4x12 in a raised bed. 30m with a shovel should suffice I would think. :confused:
 

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Go to your local home center and pick up a soil test or call your county Ag agent and find out where to get your soil tested otherwise your spitting into the wind. Having said that your never out of line to manure your plot before putting it to bed for the winter.
 

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People who have horses have lots of manure that will do wonders for your garden. We dry it on a tarp, run it through a leaf chipper to crumble it up and mix in with the soil.

Stop by somebody's house who has horses. Ask if you can grab a couple five gallon buckets of it. They will have lots of it and be happy that you want some. Dry it on a tarp and chop it up with a shovel if it's fresh (aged manure is better), mix in with the soil.
 

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Take a Knee
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Go easy with un-composted manure. It's best to let it sit for a while.

You can till the soil by hand but a tiller rental will save you quite a bit of time and give you a better till than a shovel.
 

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Have you had your soil tested? You can't improve your soil if you don't know what it needs.
I have the same problem but haven't bothered to test and change.

Any root plant (carrots, onions etc) doesn't grow in my soil. But spinach, tomatoes and strawberries grow like weeds in our garden. The strawberries and tomatoes have been spreading naturally and regrowing for the past 3 years. :smokin:
 

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Soulless ginger
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Get a soil test- basic test for N-P-K, pH, and organic content through the local Ag extension service. Select codes for what kind of crop you want to grow. The test results will tell you what the soil needs to support each.

You can probably use fresh-ish manure, as long as you mix it in now, and let it compost in the bed overwinter. I personally wouldn't. I'd go with composted, dry, not-as-stinky.

You could also till in grass clippings and let them sit for the winter. They've got a high N content, and are good for compost. Read up on Carbon:Nitrogen ratio, and how decomposition and composting works.

I don't know about the winter Rye. I use it in seed mixes to establish turf quickly, but I think it would just sap N out of your soil over the winter. On the other hand, if it fixes N like a legume, that would be a good idea.
 
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