Has anyone else started a garden in what had previously been a field used for crops (soybeans and wheat)? What did you do (if anything) to make it good for gardening? How long did it take to get a good yield of a variety of garden plants? We bought land in 2002. It had been previously farmed for who-knows-how-long for grain crops. It was in soybeans when we bought it. Tried our first garden in 2003, with really poor results (little came up, most that did sprout died before maturing). In 2004 my oldest ds took a soil sample in to his high school environmental studies class to run tests on. Turns up with next to no nitrogen (barely turned the test solution pink, was supposed to be red to indicate nitrogen). Ph was ok, and we knew the soil had alot of clay. I added aged horse manure and mulched with about 3" straw last year. Very good cucumber crop, so-so green beans, at least got a few tomatoes and enough corn for one meal. Everything else (including zucchini!) was a bust. At the end of the year, let all the 'trash' sit on top of the soil (the dead plants after frost, pulled weeds, etc) and tilled it in this spring. Also buried the chicken guts and feathers from butchering out some roosters, and the deer hair from soaking deerhides in lime solution in the garden. Parked my portable chicken coop on the edge of the garden in the fall and let them run around (and poop) on the garden until spring this year. This year, added lots more old horse manure, about a dozen pickup loads. Things germinated much much better (except the cukes and squash, darn it!), but despite watering they just haven't grown well. Now if I can't even grow zucchini, something has got to be wrong here :bash: I am pretty much resigned to adding manure, mulch, etc for several more years before I expect a decent harvest. Is there something I'm missing (other than patience, lol)? Do not use chemical fertilizers, etc due to kids and my chemical sensitivities.