I'm looking at making a garden on an old growth forest floor, and was wondering what the steps for establishing one that will produce this year would be.
First green house:
Still think this is a YARD?
I've used forest floor soil for 5 years. This was the first year. Soil test (which put my soil at slightly above neutral, zilch organic matter, zilch NPK, zilch soil organisms, pumice, sort of like sand). I keep adding decomposed organic matter and I get great harvests. If you don't have lots and lots of light growing edibles in a forest of trees will not be very successful. Light is the main thing. Soil, any soil is good soil as long as you know what is in it, what is not in your soil and constantly add decomposed organic matter. I always fertilize and work the pH according to the tests and the plants that have to live in that bed of soil. I always make raised beds, without lumber or concrete.
Light soils like yours would be best for rooty vege- think carrots and potatoes- they should do fine on organically poor soils- although they will etiolate in poor light conditions, the only other thing I can think of is to improve the soil with some sort of organic material- leaves in autumn and grow big leafy stuff, spinach, chard, cabbage etc and see how that goes? When I lived in france many years ago- I found that brassicas grew better in the shade, mainly because the sunlight there was a bit fierce during summer and dried out the sandy soil quite quickly during the summer- shade meant dampness- and they grew fine.