Hello! In the fall my husband staked out an area to be our first vegetable garden. The plot we've chosen is a rocky area that hasn't been used for cultivating plants before. So, on the advice of another gardener, we dumped the fall leaves in the area to be used, along with the last of the season's grass clippings. This friend told us that by the time planting season came around, we'd have beautiful soil ready for planting. So the leaf/grass pile sat there all winter and has compacted down to about 8 inches.
Today I turned over the pile for the first time to see how things are progressing. I became concerned because the pile hasn't broken down as much as I thought it would. I do have a separate compost bin that has a good amount of organic compost which I plan to add into the leaves. And, I am waiting on a shipment of encapsulated earthworm eggs, which I will plant in this plot as well. What else should I add? Composted manure? Top soil? My concern is that this "leaf pile" won't be soil by the time I'm ready to plant my seedlings.
I am also beginning to think this garden plot would be best suited for a raised bed since the earth beneath it is hard and rocky. Any advice to this end would also be appreciated.