Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:40 pm
Location: Copley, OH, USA

Want to expand garden next year. What should I do this fall?


This was my first year of gardening in years. Past attempts didn't go so well because my soil is very rocky and full of clay. This year, I made two 8'x4' boxes and got special soil. That made a huge difference!

With one [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39156]exception[/url], it is going really well. So well that I want to expand next year. What can/should I do this fall to prepare for next spring?

I'd rather not build boxes for everything and get special soil because it was pretty expensive. I've been composting for 7 months now. I've been turning it every few weeks and it's looking pretty good. The pile is about 5'x6' and about 3' high. I was thinking I could mix that with my soil and get a smaller proportion of the special soil.

Should I till the expanded area in the fall and then again in spring? Should I add something to that area this fall?

Looking forward to hearing your tips and tricks to ensure another successful gardening year next year.


You can't control what happens to you but you can control how you react to it.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:43 pm

Should I till the expanded area in the fall and then again in spring? Should I add something to that area this fall?
There are many options, I like this one. Fall planting is what I suggest.


Green Thumb
Posts: 588
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:19 pm
Location: Pacific NW

You could sheet mulch the area you want to expand into. Cut the vegetation short, or tramp in over well. Put a little garden lime and manure if you have it. Top the desired area with overlapped newsprint 10 thick or even cardboard. Cover with 1" of anything you might have, leaves, soiled hay, compost etc. Cover with 2-2 1/2" of leaves, leaf mulch, pine needles etc now. Let it sit there all winter. In the spring pul back the mulch put in the plants put the mulch back and let it grow. You will be building up your soil this way. You can read more complete discriptions of this practice in permaculture books or look at lasagna gardening on the web or in library books (similar idea, different gardening tradition).
I suspose you could just till in the compost into the area in question, then you will only have to spend the next 10 years or so, doing the same before you have improved the soil. Personally, I don't till it just disrupts the soil structure, kills the worms etc.

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