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preparing soil for next year


Elensw
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I am new to proper` gardening. I would like to make a large vegetable garden next year. What is the best way to prepare the soil this Autumn? The only available land is on the edge of a little orchard i have...it has grass and weeds now so i think i will need a rotivator on it. I dont really want to put any chemicals on the soil but is there anything else i can add. Also, for notive...is there anything that can be planted in the winter or late Autumn?

Many thanks for any advice!
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Hi there

If rotovating is the answer then be sure to get rid of as many of the perenial weeds as possible before starting...sounds daft I know but many of these weeds propogate when cut or disturbed and mulitply many times over the following year. Once the soil has been rotovated let it sit for a few weeks to let any frosts break it up (if it's a clay soil) and then add loads of well rotted horse manure. Warning, if ground has not been cultivated for a numbers of years then there is a risk of wireworm damage to some veg planted next year.
Suggest you buy the "Rustica" series of books as they advise what to plant and when and any possible problems.

Good luck

Sasha
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What i find the most effective is to cover the area with black plastic in August and that will kill all the grass/weeds and when you remove it in February/March the ground is quite friable and ready to be planted. No work and no chemicals ! Works every time.
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Hi there

Do you have any neighbours with horses or donkeys. I have found there is usually someone who will give you a free supply of manure.

Also a book I have found to be very useful is Le Guide Clause which gives all the seeds available and planting times. You can usually find them in Jardiland or larger supermarkets. I find this is my bible for planting vegetables. A lot of seed varieties are different to those in the UK.

Good luck

Carole
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