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The Gardening Project

view of garden from the living room window via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project

10 years ago when we began working on the house, we were so excited that we were finally in the country and we had plenty of space for a garden, chickens, horses etc. Gary bought a Troy Bilt tiller and he tilled up a space, we amended the soil and planted a variety of vegetables.

We were in the demolishing stage on our house and the garden became too much work and getting the house in a livable condition became priority. There was just not enough time for, watering, weeding, fertilizing, fighting the insects, harvesting and cooking/storing our crop. Recently a dear friend (Lauren) sent me a link to a video about a different way of gardening her family is implementing, it involves No tilling, Less watering, Minimal weeding, No fertilizing, and Less insect problems, as I watched it I became amazed by how simple it seemed and all I could say was WOW, I knew this is what I wanted to try right away.

I asked my husband to watch and he was on board with it, he decided on a site, and began gathering all materials, in our case we had to build a fence around the area because we have had wild hogs come into our yard and destroy it, and occasionally the neighbors cows have torn thru the fences and tore up the yard as well. I would hate it if we had a beautiful garden going and come home one day to see it destroyed after all our hard work.

Paul is implementing this in Washington State and he gets way more rain then we do in Texas so we know we will need to water more often and our site is on top of bermuda grass which is one of the most tough to kill, Lauren’s son, Eric, suggested we use cardboard as well.

So this is what we have done so far… First, I laid out a layer of good top soil (we have sandy loam but I just wanted to add a little to help it out) about 2 yards, our site is 24′ X 24′. 

2 yards of top soil via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project

 Gary laid out where to install the post, then dug post holes,

Gary and Alice digging holes for garden fence post via glassslipperrestorations.com-the gardening project

(he loves working with this gal, Alice)

Post hole digger on Alice Chalmers tractor via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project

unfortunately, he eventually hit clay and had to complete digging with good ole man power

Filling holes around post with cement via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project

…and then cemented the post in place.

 The next day , after the cement dried, he added the fence panels and a gate

adding fence panels and gate to garden via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project

We gathered free newspaper and cardboard from a local recycling bin and began layering both (sprayed with water to help along the decomposing process)…

Layering newspaper to kill grass via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project

Layering cardboard over newspaper to kill bermuda in garden via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project


It was a little windy that day, so I used bricks to hold down cardboard temporarily, Lauren told us of a local recycling place where we got our free mulch, except for the drive and a great lunch along the way, it was worth it, considering we needed 6-7 yards and we will need more in the future as the mulch decomposes, what a great place! Then we laid on 4-6 inches of mulch(used 2 bricks on top of each other to gauge the height of the mulch).

7 yards of free mulch via glassslipperrestorations.com-the gardening project

shoveling mulch into wheelbarrow via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project

Gary shoveled into the wheelbarrow and I dumped it onto the cardboard….

Layering mulch on cardboard via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project


Next , I wrapped the whole thing in some chicken wire (our chickens free range) and I hope to keep out small critters, we have armadillos, skunks, rabbits etc. and I just laid down some bricks along the outside to help keep the grass from growing in. I plan on building some planter boxes too. This is what it looks like from the living room window.

view of garden from the living room window via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project

 It has been 3 months and we have got quite a bit of rain recently, a few sprigs of nutgrass has managed to make its way thru and was very easy to pull out roots and all, this morning I dug down into the mulch and the cardboard and newspaper have decomposed, looks like we have killed all the bermuda grass (Yes!) this is what the mulch looks like now, I think it will be ready to plant this fall, gotta get my boxes done next!

garden view after three months of deteriation via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project

deteriating mulch after three months via glassslipperrestorations.com- the gardening project


Please, if your interested, Watch This Video, warning it is 103 minutes but worth every minute of it and I hope you will watch it all the way thru, so grab a cup of coffee/ tea, get comfy and enjoy, here is the link; http://backtoedenfilm.com/. Please check back with us to see the progress of this garden. EDIT to see our raised planter boxes, click here and to see my first Fall garden, click here

If you like this post, please check like below, share it, pin it, add comment and I will reply to you, also follow me for future post..love me some followers 😀 Thanks for visiting, ” y’all come back now ya here ” (had to get that in) Hehehe! dododododo…dodo!…Green Acres is the place to be! I know you remember this!!!

Wait!…was that Petticoat Junction, or maybe Beverly Hillbillies????

Linking up with: Farm Life at its Best,Funky Junk Interiors, Be Colorful, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrifty Things, Home Stories Ato Z, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Knick of Time Interiors, Savvy Southern Style, A Bowl Full of Lemons, A Stroll Thru Life, DIY Dreamer, DIY by Design, Green Willow Pond, The 36th Avenue, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Chic on a Shoestring, Common Ground, Romantic Home, It’s Overflowing, I Heart Naptime, Keeping it Simple Crafts, DIY Home Sweet Home, The Farmhouse Porch, Lil’Luna, Creations by Kara, French Country Cottage, From my Front Porch To Yours, Redoux Interiors, Rooted in Thyme, Craft-O-Maniac, Fresh Eggs Daily, The Backyard Farming Connection, Lavender Garden Cottage, VMG 206, My Repurposed Life, Between Naps on the PorchThe Cottage Market, Deborah Jeans Dandelion House, Pieced Pastimes, Cozy Little House, Not Just A Housewife, The Dedicated House, DIY Vintage Chic, Nancherro, One More Time Events, The Sustainable Couple

  • Von Dege May 4, 2013, 6:31 am

    Great post! We did the cardboard layer too 🙂

    • Cindy May 4, 2013, 4:46 pm

      Thanks so much for liking my post, This is an experiment for us, here in Texas. Did it work for you?

      • Von Dege May 6, 2013, 12:53 pm

        OH, and my husband would be soooo jealous if he saw your post hole digger hahaha! We really need to invest in one at some point 😛

  • Von Dege May 6, 2013, 12:50 pm

    We’re still in experimental mode too! I think you changed the format a little since I visited your site, yes?? Looks great! Very visual. What part of Texas are you from? I’ve been to Austin twice. LOVED it. We live in Pennsylvania 🙂

    • Cindy May 6, 2013, 10:08 pm

      Hi, Yes, this is only my 12th post and I am still learning more about my theme and adding and trying new things as I go,so glad you like it! We are from the South Central part of Texas, Love Austin also, actually Love Texas period…would love to visit Pennsylvania some time thou…;D Good luck to you with your garden, may it serve you well!!!!

  • Lauren Weiss May 7, 2013, 7:18 am

    Smiling…. love this post. Also, that you pointed to the video. It is inspiring!! What a lot of work you saved not pulling up that Bermuda, and the soil looks beautiful under that mulch:) The one insect that we are battling with in this system is the pill bugs who love the mulch and moisture. So, trying to decide which natural method will work. Diatomaceous earth, beer in a shallow container, sluggo?

    Will enjoy watching your progress Cindy.

    • Cindy May 7, 2013, 1:10 pm

      Hey Lauren, so glad you love the post and Paul is so awesome! Thanks for the warning about the “Rollie Pollies”..Haha..loved playing with them when I was a little girl…Please keep me posted on what method works for you…hate the thought of wasteing good beer on those little guys but if it works…we will share 😀 Thanks again…

  • Marty@A Stroll Thru Life May 7, 2013, 9:18 pm

    Oh wow, never saw this done, what an interesting idea. This will be a fabulous garden. Can’t wait to see it all come to fruition. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  • Deborah May 30, 2013, 5:25 am

    I saw this video a year or two ago, and really want to do this, but don’t know of a free mulch resource nearby. I’ll be interested in how this turns out. Thank you for sharing it at to What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!

    Green Willow Pond

    • Cindy May 30, 2013, 5:26 am

      Hi Deborah, Thanks for stopping by, I will be posting updates this fall, see ya tomorrow night!

  • Eve June 3, 2013, 11:29 am

    Never saw this type of garden prep before. Looks like a great idea. I might try this around the perimeter of my garden to keep the quack grass from repeatedly coming back in and spoiling all my fun. THANK YOU! !!!!

    • Cindy June 3, 2013, 11:30 am

      So far so good with ours, I’m anxious to get planting but I have to be patient as the soil is not ready yet! Good luck with your garden!

  • Laurel Stephens June 3, 2013, 11:48 am

    I’d been looking unsuccessfully for your recommended video for ages through my local library, and was thrilled to be reminded of it and see your link in this post. Thanks so much for sharing it. I watched it with interest this afternoon and plan to use the cover method for my new planting beds. I also learned from the video that I’ve been depleting the nitrogen in my new organic vegetable garden beds with the mulch I was digging into them. I’m so glad to know that now! Thanks again; what a great and useful post. I’m also bowled over by your remodel. It’s truly amazing work. I’m looking forward to reading more.

    • Cindy June 3, 2013, 11:49 am

      Thanks Laurel, I am so glad to share this video link that was shared with me, and I hope your gardens will be successful and provide you with the most delicious veggies!

  • newbiegardengirl August 17, 2013, 3:18 pm

    We are doing BTE as well. Bermuda grass is still an issue. We have to put down tarps on the edges of our garden b/c bermuda grass is so invasive.

    • Cindy August 17, 2013, 5:55 pm

      Hi , thanks for visiting, so far we have kept the bermuda grass out, but we have nut grass and I can not kill,so I’m pulling it up by hand every other day to keep up with it.

  • 2andahalf-Acres.net - Nicole March 7, 2014, 6:00 pm

    So can you please send your husband over to my house???? THIS LOOOKS SOOOO GREAT!!!!! I want this like that too 😮

    • Cindy March 7, 2014, 7:36 pm

      haha Nicole, we would love to visit Tennesee some day, thanks for the invite! 🙂 I visited your blog and read your story of imigration to America from Germany, thanks for reminding me to not take our life in this country for granted. We were born and raised here in Texas and Love this country only wish we could see more of it! Thanks so much for visiting and your sweet comments 😉

  • Patti March 8, 2014, 12:16 pm


    What a great start. It so great that your hubby is so handy. Looking forward to see what comes next. You have such a long growing season in the south so you’ll have lots to grow.

    • Cindy March 10, 2014, 9:44 pm

      Yes Patti, I am blessed to have a handy man hubby who is always doing his best to make my dreams come true 🙂 Thanks for visiting and your lovely comment

  • Heidi March 8, 2014, 11:58 pm

    My friend Amy shared The Back To Eden story with me a few years ago and I loved every minute of the movie. We hope to start a back to eden garden ourselves one of these days. Once we get our homestead renovated. Your home is lovely and I am really enjoying your blog.

    • Cindy March 10, 2014, 9:49 pm

      Heidi, so glad to have you around! This way of gardening is truly a time saver, I do hope you will share how things are going at your homestead 😉

  • Elizabeth April 4, 2014, 9:58 pm

    Found you from the Fridays Unfolded link-up at Nancherrow.

    Your garden looks amazing!

    • Cindy April 4, 2014, 10:20 pm

      Thanks for visiting Elizabeth, glad you enjoyed our garden project!:)

  • Kelli @ The Sustainable Couple April 13, 2014, 9:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing on Mostly Homemade Mondays! Please join us again tomorrow 🙂

    Kelli (www.thesustainablecouple.com)

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