I have had good luck this year with my bushels and want to expand and make a larger field 30x 30 yards maybe,,I don't have a tiller though.Can I do a lasagna thing with leaves and such or something else? thnx
I have had good results using a "hill system" in my garden. To start with, my soil is awful and I wanted a garden without having to ammend a large area. Since the water table is very near the surface in my garden, I needed hills (think of them as small raised beds)so that the plant roots could get some oxygen. I, too, did not have a tiller so I needed to be able to prepare a garden without breaking my back.
Make your hills by first digging a hole 18 inches wide by 18 inches deep. Mound the soil around your hole. Now, fill the hole with a good quality planting mix. I have used MG potting mix, bagged manure, and a turkey manure mixture that I purchase by the truckload from a local mulch supplier. I fugure that almost anything I put in the hole is much better than the surrounding soil. Build your hills about five feet apart and you can grow almost any crop that you want on them. I finish the job by covering the whole area with 6 mil black plastic. This gives me a weed free, mud free garden area. This arrangement is ideal for gourds, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, pumpkins, snow peas, and even pole beans. I even grow collards on hills. I leave the black plastic in place and reuse the hills year after year. Further ammendment of the soil is easy because I only ammend the hills, not the whole garden area. You can start your lasagne system on top of your hills if you like.
The hill system is not the best use of space and it does not lend itself to growing row crops like bush beans, field peas, corn, and the like. For most of the vegetables I grow, however, it works very well.
Joe, I appreciate your info, as we are facing similar problems this year.
Our big ole barn burned a year ago and the remains were buried in a huge hole, dug by a bulldozer, then covered with whatever was left on top. .........and that was clay.
We have just had the whole area cut with a disc, and would like to have some leveling done before our farmer friend gets busy in the fields.
Our gourd crop this year is something to be proud of....not. Although several plants came up and looked promising, they gave us only a handful of gourds.
Your ideas may just be the thing for us. Thanks