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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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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