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Working the Soil


Bob has been working his soil over the years by adding organic material to it each year. He usually tills in cow manure to it before planting. He feels that there are fewer weeds that come with cow manure.

He also got compost from the mushroom farm two years ago and added it to the soil.

During the summer he adds a general garden fertilizer.


Before planting he would fertilize the ground with mono ammonium phosphate and urea and then till it in well.


Elisha’s raised beds in her garden are filled with compost, peat moss and vermiculite.


To work the soil, and make it more productive, Garth has mixed manure, garden fertilizer and lawn clippings into his garden area.


Melinda has filled her boxes with a mixture of top soil, bagged garden soil, peat moss, vermiculite and manure.

McKay and Traci

McKay and Traci enriched their soil by tilling in hay, sand, manure and Iron Chelate. Grass Clippings are placed around the plants to help control weeds.


Richard does the following to prepare the soil in his planting areas

Preparing Soil in the Fall:

  • Heavily applying fresh leaves
  • Heavily applying grass clippings
  • Adding potting soil
  • Adding Old bags of manure: Since bagged manure has no nutrients he uses this more to help break up and improve the consistency of the soil. He buys several bags the year before and holds them for a year before using them.
  • Adding Turkey manure (Available at Home Depot and other gardening centers)
  • He then works these thoroughly into the existing soil.

In the spring:

  • Richard adds another layer of grass clippings and turkey manure. He does not mix these into the soil, he leaves them on top.
  • This year he is also going to use the black plastic to finish the planting site.


Scott built raised boxes out of 2×12 fir. He put linseed oil on the outside to help seal it. He fills these boxes with 1 part peat moss, 1 part compost (purchased in large bales) and 1 part vermiculite.

This year he used fertilizer from the sewer plant and feels that his garden is much better, than in the past, because of it.


Don lightened his soil by mixing in a sandy material. Each year he fertilizes his soil with turkey compost manure that he gets from Home Depot. He only puts the fertilizer in a small area where the actual plants or seeds will be planted, this helps to prevent weeds from utilizing the fertilizer to help their growth in between the plants. He also adds phosphorus to the area for his peppers as this helps to make them larger and with thicker walls. Sometimes in the fall he will work the healthy dead plant materials into the soil as well. This year he has had a lot of problems with wilt or other types of fungus or viruses. He will not put these plants back into the soil or it will cause him more problems next year. He will destroy this year’s plants.


Joyce will plow and till their garden area and then put black recycled plastic down for weed control. As Joyce does her planting, she places commercial fertilizer in the areas where the vegetables will be planted. She also places miracle grow in the bottom of each hole as she transplants the tomatoes to the garden.