I Have some pretty shitty clay soil, so I spent a lot of the winter and fall digging up the surface and putting compost in. I was a little low in green compost and have basically no sources of manure but I'm sure it helped a bit. Over the winter I put cardboard over the top to greater encourage the worms to work closer to the surface.
This spring the clay was still pretty dense. Despite the fairly large amount of compost I added. This wouldn't be a problem as its great for bushes. The local mulberry trees/bush idk and apple tree do really well. The apple tree has been here forever but the mulberries were grown by the birds.
I'm not going to be working with this soil for more than a year or two so growing bushes would be of little benefit to me. So I was only going to plant stuff that would produce me food in a year or two. While I wish I picked plants that kinda worked together I just ended up buying native plants that I like to eat. I ended up buying some strawberry seeds, collard greens, brussel sprouts and watermelon.
So I sprouted them in some little plastic containers sitting around in some potting soil about a month and a half ago. I don't really know how these plants look when they grow so, I can know what they look like so I don't accidentally weed them. I'm glad I didn't plant them in the ground bc there was frost extremely late this season.
Now some time has passed. I didn't mark the plastic containers so I have no idea what plants are in them. As time passed I realized that two of the containers have the same type of plant in them. I guess I put one type of seed in 2 containers and didn't put on seed type in the other. This one type is doing really well I think its collard greens. About a month ago I planted a few collared green? plants in the soil. The watermelon is barely sprouting and the other plastic container has nothing.
I realize that there is a volunteer pumpkin plant in the back yard. The sickly cabbage plant that I planted last year which did horribly had an offspring that I didn't notice. So about a month into spring I see a cabbage plant that is bigger than its parent plant ever got. I didn't even notice it. I not make sure to water it every once and a while, but its growing fast enough that its out competing all the weeds.
The clay garden area is pretty clear but all the weeds in the surrounding are is not being mowed. So there are quit a bit of 3-4 foot grasses, and a few types of vine weed. I don't really weed around the planted collared greens but the big plants that would conver it I weed. The weeds that are shorter than the collard green leaves I leave.
About 2 weeks ago I planted a few more collar green plants. Which left about 4 small collared green plants in two different containers. There were a few watermelon plants getting bigger so I planted 3 plants and left 3 plants in their container. But the watermelon is pretty small. I forgot to but rocks in the plastic containers holding the collared greens. When I wasn't watching the wind picked up the containers. Two of the plants faceplanted onto the wooden deck and I picked them up. They are doing ok now. The other two plants flew really far away into the yard. I recovered the container but the collared greens are AWOL. Prob gonna get killed by the lawn mower. Maybe this is a sign that the plants dislike captivity as much as me lol.
In the basement I'm growing some white mushroom and oyster mushroom mycelium old salsa jars filled with brown rice flour and vermiculite. Maybe if they turn out I can move them to the garden and have them break down the compost better for the soil.
The biggest collared greens are doing quite well. After I checked to see how they are adjusting all the collared greens are doing well, the cabbage is doing well, the apple tree is doing good like it has for the past 20 years, but one of the watermelon plants I planted died and the other two plants barely grew and look pretty sick. I forgot about staking the pumpkin plant and someone mowed it down. :(
Today I was looking at all the tall grasses approach the collared greens and watermelon. I figured I could either use mulch or weed them. Bc if they grow further they are going to kill the collared greens and watermelon. I got distracted and let them do that to my onions last year.
So I cut and pulled them down. But then I thought to myself. The seeds are allready around so I mine as well use these weeds as compost. Those tall grasses and weeds provided lots of green compost even though I weeded not much. So I dug up the clay soil and put the the weeds underneath the soil + kitchen scraps and covered it.
It was kinda hot and dry so I figured most of the bugs wouldn't be near the top soil so I shouldn't be disturbing them. Boy was I wrong. There were lots of worms, a bunch of ants feasting on the compost I put in the ground in the winter, some kind of grubs and and bunch of smaller grub type bugs. I think I saw some kind of stringy like mushroom deep down to.
I then thought to myself, since it was so cold until just recently maybe that could be why the plants were doing fairly poorly. Normally it would be too late to plant but now is when its just starting to get warmish regularly. And besides I more plants to learn about cultivating ecosystems than make food to eat. So I started a few more seeds in plastic containers, Asparagus and the four other types from before. I actually marked them this time.
As and experiment I also broadcast ed some of the seeds into the clay that I just dug up. I made sure to break up the clumps so its loose enough for smaller plants to get their roots through. Since I have the seeds starting I can I identify what the broadcasted seeds should look like.
Hopefully I'll have a poly-culture of sorts with the plants I grew from seed making the upper level and the lower level being short weeds like dandelion. I'll probably have to keep the tall grasses and weeds away artificially but pulling them which sucks but that what I get for not centrally planning the garden better.