I've got leaves/grass shredded in huge piles. I've got local Starbucks giving me UCGs every day. Gathering carboard from local supermarket. Got bags of compost and burlap.
I realize most of this is personal preference and using this method has been highly touted compared to trying to hand till this clay again. I'm still unsure of what results I'll have by Spring and should take what comes but want as much advice/experience from this forum before I start this project in all beds.
1) Layer materials, mix everything together or doesn't matter?
2) Unclear on proper ratio for ground leaves/grass to UCGs.
A pound of UCGs per packed bag of ground browns?
3) Break up clay a little, mix in some crushed oyster shells for lazy soil lightening and then start layering materials?
Concerned that crushed oyster shells in soil will be deadly to good worms although I'd be happy if they ripped the heck out of the innumerable 1-3" slugs of which I have loads. Main desire is lots of good worms come spring so I'll deal with slugs another way if crushed oyster shells will harm good worms...even though slugs make mincemeat out of so much foliage.
4) Will carboard really break down by Spring?
Will I be punching holes in soggy cardboard when planting next Spring and is this a "good thing" in the end?
Is carboard mostly to attract worms or suppress whatever weed seeds may be there? I'm doing this in existing beds (not on top of grass) that I'm either expanding or had poor drainage and air in my first year gardening.
5) Should some compost go under or over cardboard OR both to attract worms and aid decomposition?
Thanks for any help or suggestions you can offer.
I'm putting off planting more perennials until spring so I can start them off in better soil than I have now. Pretty sure the annuals will like a whole lot more too.