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questions about new garden bed  RSS feed

 
Andra Hough
Posts: 8
Location: Bartlesville, OK
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Hi there! I decided to make a new garden bed to plant some corn and beans along the back yard privacy fence. I fenced a 20 ft. long by 4 ft. strip with chicken wire, laid down cardboard, covered the area with leaves left over from the fall, then topped it with about a 1 1/2 inch layer of chicken bedding that's been composting for 2 years, then covered that with about 2 inches of top soil. Before i laid down the compost and dirt, the leaves were about a foot deep. But now, the whole things is only about 4 inches deep. My hope was that as the corn grew, the cardboard would be killing the grass under it and decomposing, so in a few weeks, the corn would be able to stretch their roots down there. Of course, if it doesn't work out this year i don't consider it a complete loss, as at least i'll have a start on a good bed for next spring. But does anyone know if this will work? I have a feeling it may not be deep enough and that the cardboard won't break down fast enough. BTW, our soil is very "clayish" around here.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3905
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Give it a try Andra, sounds like it could work out OK.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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The clay is just lack of organic matter feeding the bacteria/fungi that would hold more soil structure. Here it's plainly visible where the grass roots end and the clay begins, and where the grass dies for some reason, leaving bare dirt, it reverts quickly from rich black soil to hard-packed heavy clay. But clay is good, it holds lots of minerals to feed the plants and also holds moisture. Your corn and beans should thrive, and all that mulch should feed the worms, bacteria, and fungi to restore the soil texture to ideal.
 
Andra Hough
Posts: 8
Location: Bartlesville, OK
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Thank you so much for responding, i really appreciate it!
 
Andra Hough
Posts: 8
Location: Bartlesville, OK
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Thanks y'all! Everything worked out great. The corn sprouted up and it was the best corn we've ever had! Have already extended the bed so we can grow more next year
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Hi Andra! What's your cover crop for the fall going to be? This is the perfect time to sew that bed with some radishes or turnips or chicory to keep the ground covered.
 
Andra Hough
Posts: 8
Location: Bartlesville, OK
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Gosh i hadn't even thought of that. Was planning on just letting the chickens go at it. They've been in there scratching and fertilizing like mad,lol. Hmmm, well i live in northeastern Oklahoma. Fall has been very mild so far, but it can get very ugly very quickly. What do you suggest? And you don't harvest the cover crop, right? Thanks so much for your advice and suggestions, it really means a lot to me.
 
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