DaddyChad
Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:49 pm
Location: Tennessee

Where to begin?

I plan to start a garden in the spring. I am very new to organic gardening, so I'd like a few tips on where to even begin or some books or other resources on what my best approach would be. Unfortunately I have applied some inorganic fertilizers in the past, lime as recentily as a month ago and I don't know how long before that will be gone so I can start replenishing the microbes that may have been eliminated by this application. I have this fall and winter to prepare the plot for this spring. Any tips on preparing the area and which products work the best?Roughily 400 square ft plot with heavy clay soil.

petalfuzz
Green Thumb
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 7:37 pm

Oh boy! If you have heavy clay soil--welcome to the club! I've been ammending mine with lots of organic material: I started this spring with about 1" each of manure and peat moss tilled in the top 10-12". Then this fall I added another 1" of compost and 2" of grass clippings and tilled in again. I do not plan on adding more material than this. I'm going to try "tilless" gardening and topdress with compost and mulch only from now on. That should make gardening much more enjoyable and a lot less work for me!

Of course, I am only gardening in 200 sq ft or so, so I still have less work than you do! I hear that a nitrogen-fixing green manure (like beans of some sort) will encourage bacteria to reinhabit the soil.

Good luck with your learning process! There are a lot of great people on here that answer questions all the time!

DaddyChad
Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:49 pm
Location: Tennessee

Thanks. I wonder if I'm too late in the year to sow a cover crop? Anyone have any perspective what works best for northwest TN? I figure one of the clovers but I'm not sure.

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