Less Work Garden!

As the spring is settling in, the warmer air, longer days, I am overly excited to get my hands in the dirt and start growing! I have been adding some small changes over the years to my organic fruit and vegetable garden to grow good food that my family will love with the less amount of work. The garden has always been a part of my life. I grew up always having a BIG garden in my backyard. My father was a beast, he was the hardest working man I have ever known. He was a roof bolter in the coal mines, that consisted of hard labor and long hours. Often 7 days a week. I picked up my love of gardening from him as well as my late maternal grandfather. When I setting in Urban Columbus OH, I quickly dug up space for an herb garden, then helped to create 2 thriving community gardens all with my father’s advice and help. When he suddenly died in the fall of 2011 I remember doing garden clean up and harvest knowing we had to recreate his garden, so the following year my young children and my mother with a small amount of help from my brothers helped to fix a garden as my father did. Let me summarize – it was HARD WORK. We had crooked lines, weeds, and grew about half of what was planted. I knew that my dads way was not for me. So the following year we implemented some raised beds and since have several more. He always had some perennials – like my late grandfather’s garlic read more here on that – https://oilnurse.com/how-to-grow-and-use-elephant-garlic/– . My dad grew a few blueberries too. So we decide to beef that up – after all, everyone in the family loves blueberries so now one-quarter of the garden consists of blueberries. I am ready to expand the garlic section too. I have purchased perennial onions, kale, and lettuce. I also have aronia berry plants thriving and hopes to successfully grow elderberries this year!

So the biggest question I have is – do I till or not till the rest of the area. We still have my dads tiller – It too hard for me to use. I have looked for a new one but am so lost. SO I started doing research on no-till methods and found that there is a better way! You can use the deep mulch method with wood mulch or hay! I will be sharing my garden this season and look forward to hearing what you are doing!

The basics include:

1-No tilling – did I mention how amazing that is!

2- cardboard box your areas you are not planting or around existing plants

3- Add 10-12 inches of top quality hay or wood mulch

4 – spread the mulch to plant your seeds

5- water as normal

6- may need to add more mulch 1-3 times during the growing season

Bonus – this keeps the weeds away too!

Another tip is to save more money check with your landfill or local lumber company, or those companies that cut trees and branches down for the state road! I have used all 3 with great success and no costs!

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