Last year I started my garden. I removed the sod from two 15'x4'
areas. I dug down about 8" (as far as i could get down with a decent
spade) and tried to loosen up the soil. Its very grey and clayish so
i essentially carved out a spadefull and then chopped at it with the
spade to cut it into smaller chunks. It rained soon after and the
entire thing turned into a very sticky mush. I then had a cubic yard
of dirt delivered which i spread out of the two plots. Any of the
grey mud which was visible to the surface and dried out turned into
completely dry, hard, grey chunks that were essentially rocks. That
cubic yard only provided a couple inches of nice soil on top of the
clay stuff. Things still grew suprisingly well. As long as the grey
stuff stays covered it doesn't dry out and carrots seemed to have no
trouble growing into it. I'm sure they would do better with looser
soil but i can't complain.
I'm wondering what to do this year. My ideal option would be to
completely remove that top 8" of grey and fill everything up with many
more cubic yards of topsoil. However this year i no longer have
direct access for the soil guys to drive up and dump the bag right by
my garden. i'd have to treck it from the front by wheelbarrow, my
garden is over 200 feet from the driveway, and i'd have to go around a
neighbour since i'm actually in a townhouse. Not going to happen.
I do plan on bringing in a few smaller bags of dirt and compost by
hand, My main question is if i should attempt to mix them in with the
grey stuff or just building good stuff up on top? After settling, the
soil level was pretty much even with the surrounding grass so i can
still pile a lot more on top before it becomes a problem. A small
attempt at mixing last year didn't work well at all. Either the grey
stuff just stayed together in relativly dry chunks or it was complete
wet mush and the topsoil just floated on it. In the end it resulted
in many grey chunks/globs drying out on top.
Any suggestions/oppinions appreciated.