Asked August 18, 2018, 8:07 AM EDT

I've had a small garden for years and every year the produce gets worst even if I add compost and 10-10-10. I would like to let my soil rest for one year but I don't know if I should give it compost now or wait until I'm ready to plant again? I plan on covering up the soil with black plastic so that weeds do not come up. Is this a good idea?

Anoka County Minnesota cover crops soil testing fallow vegetable garden vegetable gardening

1 Response

If you have been adding compost and fertilizer annually, no more may be needed at the moment. Testing the soil will help you determine whether that's the case and the results may otherwise help you account for the recent disappointing harvests. If you haven't tested the soil recently, go here to learn how to prepare soil samples and where to take or send them for testing:

Instead of covering with plastic, we recommend planting a cover crop. White clover might be a good choice. However, there are other options. Go here to learn about them: