This weekend I am about to till and replace the top soil. I want a nice fresh start.
BTW has anyone here compost? I want to get a red wiggler compost going for the fall and winter. But I have a feeling it will never be enough for an entire garden.
Sounds pretty interesting. I plan on doing a hot compost for now. I hope its not too late.
DON'T TILL THE GARDEN! In my belief and studies, it's absolutely not necessary to till, ever. A fresh start would be better accomplished by adding a 1/2" layer of org. compost to the top of your beds and letting it do the work from there. I've owned a biological soil remediation company, tilling is one of the best ways to destroy anything beneficial you've already got in the bed. To put it bluntly, you're slicing, dicing and killing off most of the beneficial micro-organisms in the soil that actually make your garden healthy. Think about it like this, if you take the filter media out of your tank right now, rinse it under tap water (maybe a little bleach as well) to "start fresh"... you're definitely going to start fresh by having to re-cycle your tank. The micro-organisms that are present in the soil are keeping the immunity for the soil. Adding compost increases that immunity, increases nutrient uptake to the rhizosphere. Furthermore, shredding the microbes, in this case... fungi, are exactly what you'll need to grow healthy berries, they thrive in fungal rich soil. Do your bed a favor and don't till. Get some fish hydrolizate online, and kelp (ascophyllum nodosum) amendment as well, and top dress your bed now before the winter... you'll be glad you don't have to till.
And btw... it's definitely not too later to do thermal compost (as long as you have a big enough pile). Two years ago, during 2 weeks in February, I had my compost pile up to 160 degrees, and it had been 20 degrees outside or colder. It's totally possible.
Get yourself a large, shallow tuppermade bin. Line it with soaked newspaper, eisenia fetida (red wigglers), and food scraps. Keep it inside for the winter... feed the buggers and wait till spring to release them to the bed... you'll have many more too!
p.s. the picture with the sunlight has a visible ring of steam coming up. This is during that cold spell I spoke of