Nothing gets me quite as happy as playing in my garden.
Even in the winter!
Last week we did some serious garden prep work. We layered all kinds of things on our garden bed so that it can work it’s magic over the next 4-5 months before spring.
Our first year of gardening was a pretty epic fail. We got a crash course in soil management, that’s for sure! Luckily my Aunt told me I should look into Back to Eden gardening. Boy was that an eye opener! If you haven’t watched the Back to Eden film, you reeaally need to. It’s truly amazing. I think every gardener should watch it. It’s a method of using composted woodchips as mulch and the benefits are incredible.
What they ARN’T doing at the Back to Eden garden:
-no synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides
-no mounding of potatoes
-no rotational planting
What they ARE doing at the Back to Eden garden:
-using mulched woodchips as mulch and layering it with more woodchips over time to allow the woodchips to compost
-reaping huge harvests quickly
-very very little weeding, and the weeds are easy to pull up when they show up
-growing large nutrient dense fruits and vegetables
-using natural fertilizers like chicken and horse manure when needed and when starting new beds
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like my kind of gardening!
So we set to work on Saturday. We knew we would need to start out with a few natural soil amendments because our soil is so lacking in nutrients, and we don’t want to wait 6+ months for woodchips to decompose. So we made the following layers in preparation for the woodchips.
1.) Thin Layer of Straw (mostly because it was still there from our failed mulching attempt in the fall…we figured it was a good alternative to newspapers)
2.) 2-3 inches of Compost (we’ve been here nearly a year and have been composting the entire time. And out chickens have been turning it for us. Plus we had a full composter when we moved in, so we used that too)
3.) Thin layer of Chicken Manure
4.) 4-6 inches of Mulched Leaves – The HusbandMan offered to mow up and bag the neighbors fallen leaves, they were happy to let us add their leaves to ours 😉 He would dump the leaves over the fence into a wagon and the girls and I hauled it over to the garden. By the end of several trips we had about 4-6 inches of mulched leaves covering everything!
Many gardeners in our area leave it just like this, but we are waiting to hear back from a woodchip source, and hopefully we’ll get those in this week. Then we’ll wait for time and the magic of composting to do it’s work.
We’re are very hopeful about our garden next spring! I cannot wait to see the results of this method! 🙂