Eric Hanson wrote:Jennifer,
Have you considered adding in some woodchips? And I don’t mean cedar, I mean something quick to decompose. Here is the reason I ask.
Like you, each year when I planted my garden I used to start off by adding a bunch of amendments that looked surprisingly like what you add, in particular the black kow manure and worm castings. I labored under the understanding that my vibrant veggies from the previous year seriously depleted my source of nutrients.
But recently I discovered woodchips, and more importantly, the decomposers in the woodchips that form symbiotic relationships with the veggies. I have stopped adding more nutrients to my soil and instead add woodchips (lots of them) and fungi in the woodchips consume the chips and wrap themselves around my veggie roots. The veggies flourish now like never before. I am sure that you have plenty of nutrients in both the garden bedding and the soil beneath. The soil microbes radically help move those nutrients towards your plants.
I have had great luck in not fertilizing as my soil biota does the job for me.