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advice please on vacant lot garden development

  • Subject: [cg] advice please on vacant lot garden development
  • From: Grow19@aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 11:11:44 EDT

Hi Friends, 
I'm advised the startup of a new community garden in Washington DC on a  
60'x70' vacant lot and I am in need of your advice regarding management of the  
soil.  To 'lasagna' (build up beds on top of existing soil) or to use a  
rototiller/bobcat one time only.  
The question arises because altho' the lot is flat, has good sun exposure  
and soil appears to be in pretty good condition (soil test is enroute to UMass), 
 there are MANY small weed tree/shrub stumps and roots.  And lots of glass  
and small rocks.
On the one hand, it would seem good  to 'build' soil on top  (newspaper, 
straw, soil/compost mix, etc).  But I assume that just covering  them will not 
kill the weed trees and that they should all be pulled out  first?  I don't think 
this community group has the gumption to pull out all  the weed trees with 
pick axes and shovels.  And they are worried about the  amount of glass and 
rocks in the soil.  They are drawn to the idea of  ripping out everything with a 
one-time bobcat visit and then building up soil  and adopting a no-till future. 
Permaculture vs. practicality?  Advice?  Thanks!!
Judy Tiger, Washington DC 

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