Compost and Top Soil - Overkill?
I'm hoping that someone can advise me as to whether or not my quick-fix plan for one of my flower beds is a good idea or a waste of time/money...
Throughout this year, my husband and I have been planting flowers and vegetables in different parts of both the front and back yards. We've noticed that our flowers and vegetables in the back are nowhere near as healthy and vibrant as those in the front. In fact, they deteriorated so quickly that we've pulled 90% of the plants out.
The only thing we did differently from one yard to another was adding about an inch of potting soil on top of the clay in the flower beds in the front, and we planted directly into bare clay in the back. I believe the potting soil really help with water retention whereas the bare clay dried out way too fast.
I've attached a picture of one of the bare beds in the back where we plan to plant pumpkins. (This is basically a visual to show the difference between the compost and bare clay) We added 4 bags of EcoScraps organic compost as a new layer of topsoil. There is probably 1/2 inch of coverage and we really don't want to till it in. We were going to add about another 1/2 inch of potting soil on top of that and consider the bed prepared.
So tell me, do we even need the potting soil? Is it overkill or not nearly enough?