elle sagenev wrote: this year I've ordered compost and I've ordered wood chips
C Mouse wrote:What worked for me, and might work for you, is cheerfully called ba***rd trenching. With a bit of a twist from yours truly for both fast and long-term results, incorporating slightly raised beds.
You mark out your bed and dig up a single spade cube of soil, so about 1' in every direction, set that aside. At the bottom you break up the subsoil with a garden fork, claw, whatever. And then you DUMP in compost, manure and LOT AND LOTS of wood chips. Then you take your next spit of soil and you put it upside down in that first empty spot - putting any topsoil, weeds and roots right down into the hole with all the goodies.
The downside to this - this is a LOT of manual labor. But in my experience it's worth it, and when you want to plant fast it will get you a crop the first year and they will just get better every subsequent year thereafter.
elle sagenev wrote:Ok so I posted this and never came back. I suppose I have several things I should have said.
I have swales and Kraters. Everything there but a very hardy plum tree died. It's pests that are the biggest predator there.
What I'm looking to do is a kitchen garden/orchard. It's a smaller area, fully fenced, close to the house and water source. I have been attempting to grow a garden here for years and the plants just don't get very big and certainly don't fruit. The trees and bushes that survive pest pressure just don't get very big either.
I just want that smallish garden area to thrive. I want to see some results. I've been mulching for ages in the area. I think part of the problem might be grass. I have a lot of grass in that area. So I'm hoping super thick mulch around the trees would be good and compost where I want plants. I don't know, I'm going to try it.
Two words NO-DIG
elle sagenev wrote:I have been content to play the slow soil building game. Planting soil building plants. Mulching. Mulching with shredded paper (to help surpress weeds), leaves, hay, wood chips, etc. It's going poorly. My plants are growing slowly.
I am tired of seeing nothing every single year. So, this year I've ordered compost and I've ordered wood chips and I better see something grow or I swear, I quit.