Hey all you GF gardeners out there, as we begin a new year, I am needing to significantly improve both the nutrient profile and structure of my raised-bed vegetable garden. The soil I had trucked in originally was advertised as "river bottom organic." But let's just say that I don't think anything organic had been growing in that soil in some time. I have had to amend with huge amounts of blood meal, phosphorous and potash over the years just to keep things at a sustainable level. Lately, I have been struggling to get the leafy greens to even germinate, much less grow healthily. Soil tests repeatedly show low levels of N, P and K - although the P and K levels have risen a bit recently.
So I am considering a purchase of some type of manure - likely rabbit, or composted chicken or dairy cow if I can find it. I'm also going to have to put in some type aeration product like cottonseed hulls to keep the soil from compacting (the underlying black clay seems to win out over time, in spite of a weed barrier between it and the trucked-in top soil).
I wanted to get y'alls thoughts on what has worked well - particularly if you have had any experience growing in a clay soil. I know that's mostly what is NOT in the Ozarks, but there are pockets and perhaps some of you all gardened elsewhere. Thanks for the suggestions.