I am prepping planting beds for next year. This particular bed is for flowers to attract pollinators and beneficials. It is 2' x 20' along one side of a raspberry row, and I will be doing an identical bed on the other side of the raspberry row. As a bit of history, nothing but weeds has been growing in this section of yard for many years. We've just kept it cut short and called it "lawn".
My original plan, and what I have done in other areas, is to till the top 6" or so and remove the loosened soil. The subsoil layer below that I loosen up with a digging fork to a depth of 6" and spread some compost on top of that. I then screen the rocks and debris out of the tilled "topsoil" and shovel it back on to the layer of compost. Then I begin adding in massive amounts of organic matter- grass clippings, autumn leaves, composted stable sweepings, and compost. By the following spring the bed is in better shape. Not great, but better. I then add more OM as I can, between plantings.
So I rototill this bed as deep as the tiller will go, which after I dig out the loosened soil is only about 5-6". Below this, the subsoil is as hard as concrete. Jumping on a digging fork, I can barely get the fork in about 4-5 more inches. And even that is a struggle. I tried a sledge hammer and a length of rebar, but that is very slow going as well. Any ideas on how to loosen up this layer of subsoil? This is the first time this area has been worked, and we have lived here over 25 yrs.
Thanks for any help you can give.