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′.
Gary laid out where to install the post, then dug post holes,
(he loves working with this gal, Alice)
unfortunately, he eventually hit clay and had to complete digging with good ole man power
…and then cemented the post in place.
The next day , after the cement dried, he added the fence panels and a gate
We gathered free newspaper and cardboard from a local recycling bin and began layering both (sprayed with water to help along the decomposing process)…
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).
Gary shoveled into the wheelbarrow and I dumped it onto the cardboard….
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.
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!
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
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Wait!…was that Petticoat Junction, or maybe Beverly Hillbillies????
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