Can you over-do the Organics?

Hi guys, I have a couple of days off here, and was going to put in another plot, and help my brother in law who just bought a home put a garden and some beds in there.
I was wondering, is it possible to OVER-DO the organics? We have access to some fresh horse bedding, cattle bedding from a local auction place, a lot of free stuff from the landfill (all the wood chips and grass and leaf clippings they pick up in the fall). I was thinking that we might just till as much of all of it as possible into the soil. Then let it "rest" for a couple months (or maybe until next season).
Does this "shotgun" approach to gardening work? The soils in question are already pretty good, but it would be nice to build it into that stuff you see in all the books! Also, in "Square foot gardening" (by mel bartholomew), he said that the first thing he tells any new gardener is to get some vermiculite to improve structure and drainage.
What do you think, just go ahead and bomb the garden plot with a ton of organics, let it rest, then plant it? that's how top soil forms in nature.
How long does it take for the breakdown to re-release nitrogen? any thoughts? thanks john
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On 29 Jul 2003 13:05:24 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Bpyboy) wrote:

I don't think so. I'm growing stuff in 100% spent-mushroom soil, in pots - 100% organics. Everything grows wonderfully in it, except carrots - too much nitrogen for carrots. The roots all forked. But everything else I've grown in it has done very very well.

<snip>

Sounds pretty much ideal to me.

Don't know, sorry.
Pat
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Thanks, I have about a 4' stack of bedding now in the drive way and a trailer full of stuff from the land fill. I'm just going to go for it, till it under, then adjust it in a couple of weeks after a soil test.
john
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Bpyboy wrote:

That rest will work wonders by giving natural processes a chance to "do their thang".
Do note that how you treat the soil is just one part of a larger picture Growing things 'organically' means controlling pests and diseases organically, too. . This means allowing time for pest / predator populations to build to a stable level and for previous applications of bagged fertilizers / spray-on death to break down in the soil.

Nitrogen depletion, while real, is not a real problem. There are certainly plenty of readily available sources of organic N (blood meal comes quickly to mind) with which to compensate in the event that the N levels go too low for good growth. Some of the N will always be locked up in digesting organic material for as long as you maintain a soil with organic material in it. Probably, however, you will never, in practical terms, be aware of it. I do not know the time to re-release. The answer is complicated by the fact that some of the released N will in turn be picked up by other organisms.
The cattle and horse bedding will be fairly rich in N. I doubt if you will have to add any external N for quite some time.
Bill
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