August 31, 2009 in Michele's Blog
To celebrate a combination of old school ideas from last weekend and the upcoming guest appearance of Sheila O’Riley this weekend…..I remind everyone of a no fuss, no-till gardening method that I too have tried, and continue to implement. My good friend Sheila shared it with me several years ago for our Courage to Create series; I, in turn shared it again with our B. Original viewers; and here I go talkin’ it up at borganic.net. It’s genuinely a good one. It’s easy; it’s fun to put together; it can be done anywhere, any size yard; and it works.
It’s also referred to as lasagna gardening and other names, but ‘no-till’ says it all. ENJOY, if not this season…next year for sure!
Just as the title says, there is no tilling or digging, (that’s right, no rototiller needed)…you can install one of these directly on your lawn (preventing soil erosion). And you basically employ alternating your ‘brown’ and ‘green’ layers similar to how you execute things in your compost bin.
You will start by layering newspapers directly on the grass or weeds. (Wetting all your newspapers first will make them easier to spread out and they won’t blow away while you work).
Start with 4-6 sheets for your first layer. This will act as your weed barrier.
Next, a layer of composted manure — about two inches deep — invite all the beneficial organisms and earthworms you can!
For the remaining layers — keep them at anywhere from 2-4 inches deep and water your layers as you go.
Next up, natural wood chips that haven’t been chemically treated. This allows for aeration.
Next….a green layer like grass clippings.
Followed by a layer of shredded paper.
Then a layer of straw.
And another layer of grass clippings.
You are now ready to plant. Dig out a hole in the layers (the appropriate depth for your plant), fill with garden soil and plant. Be sure you add enough dirt so you can plant deep enough. For rows of seeds….trench through your layers using your hands or a hoe…fill your row with garden soil, sow your seeds and top off with more soil, as directed.
You enjoy the wonderful benefits of composting as it happens. This gardening method is low-maintenance, no weeds…water as needed. It is less time consuming and you will produce an abundant crop for very little work. Your back will thank you as well as the earth below your feet!
Click here for a user friendly pdf of her version of the recipe and the steps for a 4×4 area courtesy of Sheila and her Backyard Conservation efforts.
Cheers to no-till gardening….a lovely method that is far from UGLY!!!
Thank you again, Sheila!