|Source: Wikipedia Commons; Ham House Estate|
1. Cover the area with three layers of corrugated cardboard, weighed down by stones or bricks or anything heavy. Water it down, then let the weather do it's thing. (If you live in an area without much rain, go ahead and water it once a week.) Do it now, and by spring, the weeds and grass will be dead and the cardboard, by then rotted mostly away, will have improved the soil.
If you have the time, you can also add layers of other organic material, such as kitchen scraps (only from produce, please), aged manure, and so on. (I don't recommend straw or hay, since it can contain many, many weed seeds that can survive this treatment.) Cover the organic matter (cut into small pieces) with the cardboard.
|Cardboard is a gardener's helper.|
1. Follow the steps above.
To Improve Existing Garden Soil:
1. If you can't do a soil test kit (see below) or the soil test shows your soil has no imbalances, add organic matter such as produce scraps, aged manure, shredded newspaper, brown leaves, grass clippings, etc. to the garden. For best results, either bury the organic matter several inches down, or cover it with good garden soil, compost, or weighed down cardboard. By spring, the organic matter will be decomposed and the soil rich and improved.
1. Test the soil using a soil test kit. Do this as soon as possible, since the wet conditions in fall can skew the results.
2. Follow the amendment instructions that come with the test kit. Add amendments to imbalanced soil now, and the soil will be ready for planting by spring. If you wait until spring, the amendments won't really "kick in" until months have passed.