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I just pulled up a rather sad potato crop and was considering putting down some winter squash. I tested the soil and it's got low nitrogen and phosphorus. I would like to build up healthy soil. Should I just put down a cover crop and call that bed a wash for the year or is it worth it to put down some compost and add amendments, use up the season and work on building up the soil after the winter squash come up this fall?

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I think either one would work. I save one of my raised beds for the fall garden. This year, it is the bed that contained my very sad tomatoes from last season. I keep to organic so I amended with compost, composted manure and leaf litter and then put down red clover as a cover (mostly to keep weeds from getting a foothold). Clover is a legume so it would fix your nitrogen problem, plus the beautiful green carpet looks amazing. Additionally, if you have deer or rabbits, they'll go for your clover before your veggies. If your potatoes weren't diseased you can probably just amend. If you are concerned about disease, solarize the plot for at least a month and then carry on with amendments. Happy gardening!

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