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Favas, peas and beans to improve new garden soil

13 years ago

So, I have a new garden plot with hard packed clay. So hard I hesitate to even try lettuces and other greens in it. My thoughts are this.

Plant some pole and bush beans right now. I think I have kentucky wonder, blue lake , purple pod and rattle snake sitting around. Throw out some radishes, mustard greens, dill and fennel, nastiturniums and alyssums wherever I can. After the beans are done, cut the plants down (run through the chipper?) and replant with favas and sweet peas. Interplant again with the flowers, herbs (maybe also cilantro, parsley, arugula,bee balm). When ready to harvest, again shred above ground plants and incorporate into the soil.

Throughout the winter will be adding aged horse manure, shredded tree waste, shredded paper.

Will this work? Gypsum and sulfur will be added in sufficient quantities but at no time will the ground be tilled.

By harvesting the beans and peas am I losing the benefits of the nitrogen?

Are these good choices for loosening the hard clay? I'd also like to try turnips, beets and a short variety of carrots in this area but could put elsewhere if needed.

Is there any other natural things that I can do to help? I have access to alfalfa hay and pellets which I could pile on, let me know what quantity I should use.


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