One Way to Rejuvinate a Garden Bed

Reader Contribution by Nebraska Dave
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The official start of fall cleanup has begun at Terra Nova Gardens. Bed number 12 has been rejuvenated for winter rest. Bed 12 had the first harvest of sweet corn. Now it’s on to beds number 10 and 11. They contain more spent corn stalks as well as cucumbers and squash. They are still producing abundantly, but I’ve got so much squash, eggplant, and cucumbers that I don’t need any more.  No one really wants squash and eggplant. Next year I’m cutting back on those plants and planting just enough for my use.

The first thing to do is remove all the corn stalks and other plant debris. I just threw it over the fence for now. When the time is right, I’ll pile it all up in a compost pile for the winter. 

Then I dig out a trench that’s a spade’s width wide and a spade’s length deep. The dirt from this trench is put into a wheelbarrow for use on the last trench.

Grass clippings are piled in the trench. These grass clippings come from my yard and my vacant lot, so I know there’s been no chemicals used on them. The clippings are about as chemical free as they can be within a suburban and inner city environment.

The second trench is dug right next to the first and the dirt is piled on top of the grass clippings in the first trench. More grass clippings are piled in the second trench and more dirt piled on top.  Then repeat, repeat, repeat, the process.

When the last trench is dug and the grass clippings are piled in the trench, the dirt from the first trench, which is still in the wheelbarrow, is dumped into the trench. A light raking to smooth out the humps and bumps and the bed is completed. Only five more to go in this section of the garden.

These are my next two beds to clean up and put to rest for the winter.  The cucumbers, squash, and sweet corn intermingled just as I wanted them to.  It must have totally confused the dreaded vine borer because I didn’t see any damage from them. The victory over vine borer was a inundation of squash, cucumbers, and sweet corn. I have so much I don’t know what to do with it all. I guess that’s a great problem to have. I hope your garden is producing just as wonderful as mine. Next post will be about a new watering experiment. See you then.

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