Saturday, September 22, 2012

Great Garden Soil

Fall is finally here!  The leaves are turning, there is a chill in the air, and my garden is giving the last of it's fruits. 

I have been busy in the garden, preparing the soil for next year.  We also enlarged the planting area, using the same techniques that we used for this summer's garden.

The method worked beautifully for us.  Hardly any weeding, watering, and pest problems (with exception of the chickens).  You can read more about it here and here

Below is a picture of the garden as it was this afternoon.



Area 1

This area was an existing area of the garden.  To prepare it for winter, I topped it with mulch that I gathered from underneath the trees.  It consists of pine needles, decomposing pine cones, and bark that had shed from the trees.


 

Area 2

This area was also an existing area of the garden.  While it may look a little barren, the lack of weeds is from the lasagna layering method.  I spread some wood chips under the tomatoes and haven't had to water since.  Once the tomatoes are done, I will cover this area with mulch.


 

Area 3

Here is where we added the new planting area.  We used the lasagna method, as pictured below.  Like the other two areas, this area will be covered with mulch as well.


Hopefully, over winter the mulch will break down, enriching the soil.  We then plan to cover the entire area with another layer of mulch in early spring.  I would like to use wood chips at that time.


Tips to remember:


~  Don't till your soil.... EVER!
~  Your mulch doesn't have to be wood chips.  Pine needles, grass, straw, anything that will cover the ground and break down.
~  If you don't want to add extra soil, lay down paper and just top it with mulch.
~  Don't use cardboard.  It is too stiff and may leave spots where the grass doesn't die.


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3 comments:

  1. Oooo! I need to do this. We have been using raised beds (really more like boxes; not really raised) but we added horse manure last year to one box and it has been great for yeilding tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, beets, onions depending on the season. I noticed one of our small boxes isn't doing well. It is the one we lined with black plastic on the underside. No good. Didn't get much from it.
    I think I'm going to pull the plastic out and fill it with clippings, pine needles,and chicken manure... and let it set for the fall and winter.

    Our big garden...currently is filled with scrub brush and prunings from the trees. The Honey will burn that pile off as soon as the ban is lifted and the wood ash will be wonderful for the potatoes in February!

    I've heard the lasagna method...but haven't used much paper. Although I have added shredded paper to the compost pile.

    I bet when you get that litter cleaned out of your coop in the early spring...it will be great for that sandy and (looks like) clay soil you have.
    ~Pat

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post! It's important to return nutriants back to the soil for next spring and this is a wonderful method... I'm about to begin preparing ours as well! Thank you for sharing this on FGF!

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  3. Good article. Sustain up the reliable performance. Thanks for this post..

    ReplyDelete

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