My Zone 4 garden is on hard clay, and this is my first year. Started all my nightshades in FL(sterile mix) and brought them up here to transplant after hardening off.
Planted in grow-bags with soil mix of: 1/3 rotted manure, 1/3 "black-dirt"(rotted manure+sand), 1/4 rotted wood chips, 1/4 sand. SOME native soil was introduced in that mixing process.
ALL species are gorgeous and fruiting well ... even the potatoes, which are planted in the ground - lasagna-style. NOTHING has been planted for over 10 years.
I've built a good compost pile, and will be working on extending "lasagna" beds with grass-clippings, our old hay bales, scattering of manure, and leaves.
We've spent a lot of $$ on the manure/black-dirt, which is now in bags and disease/pest-free!
I'm feeling sorta, "beginner's luck" ...and glad of it, though I realize that no garden for years is a help!
PLEASE give your advice/experience about replanting nightshades into pots OR spreading that soil to other beds.
Thank you, and best wishes!
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If you can afford to buy the sterile mix each year, it would be s good way to raise the odds against disease for at least part of the tomato potato crop. I would add the "old" potting mix to a new compost pile and run it through a hot cycle. I would start planting a bunch of disease resistant varieties in the ground and build a couple landrace varieties of your own.
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