Best way to revive a Kitchen Garden


Old 04-12-16, 06:42 PM
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Best way to revive a Kitchen Garden

Our house has a fairly large (about 300 sft) ill- maintained Kitchen Garden. Don't know when the previous owner lst maintained it but we did not get time to do anything ever since we moved in 2 years back.

The plot is now covered with lots of vines, broad leaf weed and tons of leaf (there are trees nearby). I have started cleaning it -- have cut the rusted and broken fence, cleaned about half of the area. The soil is very good but I am thinking instead of cleaning, can we lay a landscaping fabric on the leaf and vines, cover with fresh soil and start my new garden?

How much soil should I use ?
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Old 04-12-16, 06:58 PM
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You'd be way better off removing all the vines and plant matter. And then, unless the soil is very loose, I'd till it or at least turn it over.

Another option is to cover it with black plastic or multiple layers of newspaper (wetted down good) and leave for a couple of months to kill all the vines and plants. Then remove the plastic/newspaper and till the dead remains into the soil.

It's a lot of work, but once it's done it's just a matter of keeping up with it.

It's a good idea to have the soil tested when starting a new garden so you know where you stand on PH and essential nutrients. Good luck with your garden!
Old 04-12-16, 07:08 PM
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It would be easier to clear what you can and roto-till the existing soil 3 or 4 times. The leaves are good for the soil. I would probably mow it as short as possible then till it.
Old 04-13-16, 04:11 AM
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Covering up the vines/weeds just postpones then coming back up. Not sure how well landscape cloth would work under a vegetable garden. Sooner or later you'd have to till the garden which would shred and bring pieces of the cloth to the surface. If you intend to use the garden this year, I'd remove what vegetation I could and then till.
Old 04-13-16, 08:36 AM
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One more vote to remove the vines and such and not lay landscape fabric.
Old 04-13-16, 08:49 AM
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Thanks . Will continue removing the vines. I will probably do half of the garden this year and half next year (or prep later this year). Lot of work but I guess it will be worth.

The soil is loose and appears to be good ... planning to till and add a layer of fresh garden soil + Cow manure .

One additional question -- will spraying a weed killer (to kill the broad leaf weeds) cause harm to the soil ?
Old 04-13-16, 09:00 AM
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Harm the soil? No, the soil will be fine. That said, it could leave residue which potentially could end up in/on your food so I would avoid chemicals in this process.
Old 04-13-16, 12:11 PM
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How exciting to have such a large garden area set up for you! I also vote for pulling all the unwanted plants out and tilling. Covering with plastic will "kill" the plants above ground and may make the removal easier. On a side note did you know broad leaf is eatable? the early leaves go great in a salad and the older leaves can be cooked just like you would any other green. Happy Gardening!
Old 04-13-16, 01:55 PM
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300 s/f is not a huge undertaking. I would use a garden fork to spade and pull up all the weeds and vines. Once you get that done add amendments (fertilizer, compost etc.)depending on your soil and rototill or spade by hand to 8"-10".

If you want to use landscape fabric the time is once the beds are spaded and raked smooth. It will help retain moisture and control weeds. That's also a good time to add irrigation.

After your seeds and started plants are in then add a good mulch layer. I use 3"-4" of salt marsh hay.

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