Monday, August 21, 2023

Why A No-Till Garden?

About the No-Till Gardener...

I've owned this website for a long, long time -- since spring of 2010, in fact.  It began as an offshoot of my other website, Tasting Out Loud. It was while working on that website that  I first discovered the joy of being a No-till Gardener. However, because much can change in 13 years, I’ve decided to update and reissue some useful information about no-till gardening.  Gotta keep things fresh! Therefore, look for some new information and new illustrations mixed in with tried and true information, as well as some new and better.  And, always feel free to comment and reach out with any question you may have, both here and on the No Till Gardener facebook page and YouTube Channel which is also getting a much needed facelift. 

My garden buddy and my garden before...

How can one possibly create a bountiful garden without soil, hoeing, weeding, mulching, and chemicals?   The No-till is just that -- a unique, raised bed technique that defies ordinary gardening culture -- it does so without digging in the dirt,  very little weeding, no chemicals, and moderate watering. And these little botanical gold mines yield enormous amounts of beautiful vegetable from a very small space -- and it just plain old fun! 


And now

So if you have a hankering for a garden, but not much room, or high motivation for grubbing around the garden but are stuck with hard-packed clay soil, the No Till Garden is for you!

Crazy rain forest of a garden!
Last year, my husband Dave and I decided to buy some cheap lumber, paint it, screw it together, and build ourselves some easy, smeezy, raised beds but we hated the idea of all that digging and double digging. So, we opted for layered gardens made of alfalfa hay, straw, compost, newspapers, bone meal and blood meal.  
You can use topsoil mixed with your compost but it's really not necessary. In fact, over the season, the layers work together, feeding plants while composting themselves into the most beautiful, dark, rich organic soil that you could ever hope to have in your garden.

 Often referred to as Lasagna Gardens, because they are built layer upon layer, these gardens are extremely nitrogen (from the Alfalfa hay) and nutrient rich (from the bone and blood meal and compost which attract worms, feed beneficial bacteria and encourage healthy growth) , so they may be planted quite densely, thereby eliminating most weeding -- a fate that most gardeners despise but are resigned to. But no longer! 
So, one thing builds upon the other and you end up with a little jungle of a garden that just gives and gives -- year round if you plan ahead -- even in the cold and blustery climes!

In the next few days, we will be posting a materials list (much of which may be begged from freecycle, bartered from your friends, or purchased pretty inexpensively) and complete step-by-step photo and maybe even video instructions for building your own 8x4 raised no-till bed in two days or less, after you've gathered together your materials (the extra day is for the paint to dry prior to building your bed, if you decide to paint. If you use cedar wood or the new environmentally friendly pressure treated wood, you can skip the extra day).
You'll see -- when you get through with the building, plant your garden,  and start harvesting your no-till bounty -- you will never view gardening in the same way again!  

So, if your a gardener or gardener wanna-be who is short on space or short on water, longing to be more respectful of the earth and conscious of what you're eating and where it comes from -- or just want to enjoy watching your food grow and teaching your children to be more self-sustaining, No-till gardening is for you!

Step-by-step instructions follow this post. I’ve broken it down into four days.  You can shave off time any way you want, depending on how much free time you have to work on your garden.  


Now, get out there and get your hands dirty!

1 comment:

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