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I pulled out about 1/2 my garden yesterday. So many things are doing so poorly. I have been letting my onions dry in the ground and I pulled those out. They aren't that big, but I did get about 12 nice onions. My beets and peppers are still doing fine. I pulled out all my bush beans, a couple tomato plants, zucchini plants, cucumbers, and the peas. Sure looks bare out there now! lol. I left my carrots in also, but that's probably also a waste because they are so tiny.
My parents are in Europe for a month and I'm taking care of her garden, which is awesome! She did a lot of vertical growing and I picked so many beans yesterday, a large cucumber and pulled about a dozen carrots. Mine maybe get about 3 inches long and hers are about 6-10 inches long! I'll just get the majority of my veggies from her garden this year.

But I am going to start some fall crops indoors and transplant in a month or so. Maybe once our weather cools off a bit and our water situation is better (our well is low producing and right now, our hot hot time, it's not recovering much at all, so i can't be really generous with the water and i know that's why things are suffering in the garden) I'll have a bit more luck with some late sept/october veggies.
 

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sorry you have to start over, :( Maybe it is time to start the no till garden and begin the layering process? news paper,manure,dirt, wood chips leave in layers don't till them in at all. then just separate the chips and replant.
 

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yeah, something needs to change with my soil also. In addition to the watering issue this year, I think my soil is seriously lacking in something. Each spring I get a truckbed load of aged cow manure compost and my DH tils that into the soil. My garden pretty much needs to be tilled to loosen it up because we have a lot of red dirt here that gets pretty compacted and hard after a winter of rain. But I'm thinking that after 10 yrs of amending with cowmanurecompost, it's depleted in something, but I just don't know what. I'll be soil testing my soil and figuring out a better amendment.
 

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i guess i am about the sme tam...my garden looked wonderful but the harvest was very small...all i have left is my corn and i dont think it is any good...it is very skinny and white...it has been pollinated 3 weeks now...):...i think it is my soil as well...it is my first year and i had not alot of compost...i did fretalize however it didn't bring much harvest...i will be testing my soil in the spring after i buy a load of compost and till it in...that might help me to understand a little better what is going on...GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR FALL PLANTING...i think i might try a couple of fall plantings as well..any suggestions...i live in new brunswick , canada.
 

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I have figured on doing the back to Eden gardening type, for one bed next spring but will get it ready this fall for next spring planting. I live on a gravel pit of large and small rocks some as big as pick up trucks. it drains too well and no matter how much I pick rocks more just pop up and we are talking some the size of giant potatoes. the soil drains well but doesn't hold water at all so even amending and tilling doesn't work here but the lasagna gardening type does work and the back to EDEN works on the same principal. It will work with hard clay type soils also or any type of soil. worst case is you try it in a 10 foot x 10 foot area or smaller and see how it works for you if it fails you tried if it is a success you expand the idea to the rest of the area one strip at a time or all at once. I haven't tilled in three years now and won't till ever if I have my way. I can plant early with the lasagna beds as early as april first it still snows some times on april first have pic to prove it. but the beds are warmer and the dirt is easy to move aside and put seeds in. I just do crops that like to start in the cold first. then they get done and I can do some warmer weather crops in the second go around.
 

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I'll look into that back to eden gardening. I don't know much about it, other than just seeing the name of it before.

can you explain to me the reasoning behind not wanting to till the earth? it seems to make sense to me - mix up the soil, work some air into it, get the amendments evenly distributed throughout the soil and not just on the top. So what are the negatives behind tilling that makes some gardeners not want to do it?
 

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after a few years even with adding amendment to the soil the good microbes tend to die off thus rendering the soil sterile and nothing can grow without huge amounts of fertilizers plus the soil becomes more compacted between tilling. air gets worked in with planting root veggies such as carrots,beets,turnips,parsnips,potatoes. the other plus is the only tool you need is a rake. because with this method the soil stays soft and moist even in dry climates and even in clay like soils it will stay nice and easy to work. the soil will hold water better so this means less watering. here go watch the video this guy has not tilled in 15 yrs and has a fabulous garden year round.http://backtoedenfilm.com/ yes he uses religious proverbs allot but if you are not into that just ignore that part and focus on the way he does this.
 

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thanks. I'll take a look at that video.

what about cover crops though? do you plant those? and if so, don't you need to till then?
I haven't planted cover crops in a few yrs but my garden gets so weeded over that by spring I literally have to mow them down, then till, then I use a big steel rake to smooth out the dirt and get the clumps of tilled up weeds out. I can't imagine how I would 'de-weed' and get the soil ready for planting if I didn't till first. But I'd sure like to learn more about it.
I would sure like to NOT have to till though, as I borrow a friends' tiller, then my DH does the tilling for me - so it can be quite a process and sometimes we don't get around to tilling until late spring and I know I COULD be planting some things, like lettuce and peas earlier, if I didn't have to wait for my DH to till the garden.
 

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no cover crops at all and no weeds to mow over if you follow the method he does and he gets a huge harvest every year, he also will do a tour of his garden so you can see it first hand but that is in sequim wa.
he has had people all over the states do this with different soil types and each works beautifully year after year.
 

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All my garden is Lasagna beds. IMHO you can't go wrong with lasagna gardening! I started this about 3 yrs ago and it was the best move I ever made in growing anything from veggies to flowers. 4 years ago a friend gave me the book"Lasagna Gardening" by Patricia Lanza. It was one of the most interesting and helpful gift i have ever received, Ever since then, I have had beautiful gardens that was more productive then I ever dreamed about. My neighbors were as amazed as I. At first when I started building my beds everyone was wondering what in the world was I doing! getting started is not hard, after learning what I needed to build a lasagna bed. My garden is now 65 ft long x 70 ft wide. I own no tiller at all nor does my lasagna garden beds ever need tilling. I don't have to worry about what cover crop to plant, for I am always adding materials to the beds in fall (which most are free) to build them up for spring. I use "green" and "brown" materials in layers. I try to use 70-75% more brown then green. you can also search "Lasagna Gardening" and get alot of information on this. I use leaves, mulched, wheat straw (no pine straw) ,rotten sawdust mixed with sand, grass clippings, kitchen scrapes (no meat) aged wood chips (no green wood) horse, cow, chicken, rabbit manures, any old garden refuge that you pull up, (I don't use squash vines or tomatoe vines, to keep down transmitting diease) I didn't go big with the beds at first until I got the hang of it. Now my beds are 35ft-50ft long and are 4ft wide. Right now is the perfect time to start a lasagna bed for next spring. I will post some pictures later of my beds being built and this past years crops. Now is the time to start gathering the materials for lasagna beds. and most are free.
I now teach others in my community about lasagna gardening. People have stopped on the road just to get out and look and ask questions. This method of gardening is a very old method, so it is nothing new. I am very glad to have been introduced to lasagna gardening. It takes less water, no commercial fertilize or insecides, and most materials are free if you happen to live in the country as I do. You just need to try a small lasagna bed about 4ft x 12ft at first then you will see and experience the best and easiest gardening in your life. If your soil is great then you wont need a lasagna garden. But if your soil is like mine, mostly clay, doesn't drain well, rocky, hard, and very little nutrients then this is for you!
happy gardening
 

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a few pictures of my lasagna beds





I will post more pictures at a later date, I have a whole album of pictures of building lasagna beds and the results
thank you for looking
best luck gardening
 

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cool, love to see gardens working with easy and not allot of back breaking work to get a harvest. I too do lasagna beds some deeper than others for the reason my elderly mother likes to go pick and has a hard time bending/kneeling. plus I hate to till lol
 

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thanks so much. I will definitely read up on lasagna gardening. I, too, live in an area high in clay content, although my garden has been amended for so many years with composted cow manure, that it's not as clay-filled as other areas. I did empty out my compost tumbler this weekend, even though it was not all broken down, and dug a shallow hole next to my one raised garden bed, threw some of the soil on top and watered it down heavy. I figure in a few more days, I'll add some of that composted material to the garden bed that has my lettuces and brocolli in it.
I appreciate the feedback and photos.
 
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