7.15.2013

No Dig Gardening

Wow!  What a busy time it has been lately?  Are all of you experiencing lots of busy days too?  It is because I don't have as much time to spend in the garden that I decided that No Dig Gardening is for me.
Spend less time weeding, watering with no dig gardening Pic 1
I have used this method successfully for many years.  It is so much less work and less everything plus it makes my beds look pretty.  This works for vegetable gardens, flowers, and even around trees and shrubs. 
Before I get down to business, I have news: I am also expecting a new grandbaby soon!  It is a girl and her name is Zerah Grace.  I am so excited and she is due very soon!  I found out this week that there is a grandma club.  I had no idea!  I have been getting sweet thoughtful grandma gifts this week and it is so fun.
No dig gardening, less weeds, watering, and bugs Pic 3
When I have had a chance and when it has not been blistering hot, I have been in my garden such as it is.  The drought and heat has further decimated my poor trees, flowers, and bushes.  To make matters worse we are in such a state of drought that our city water supply has been threatened and so we are no longer allowed to water unless we haul it in.
Learn to garden the no dig way, less watering, less weeding and less bugs Pic 4
I have also been busy getting all my flower beds covered with thick layers of newspaper and then mulch.  This really helps keep the weeds down and also aids in keeping the beds cool and moist. It takes lots of newspapers to do this and so I have had help with getting those newspapers from people in my community. They have been so good to bring me lots of newspapers. I love my community!  The people here are the best and it is such a safe and beautiful place to live.
Learn No Dig Gardening, less weeding, watering, bugs Pic 5
 I am still getting and using newspapers because I have several garden beds and I am starting a new vegetable garden area.  Even though the water and weather has not allowed me to plant this year, I figure it is a great idea to go ahead and get the bed ready and cover it completely with thick layers of newspaper and mulch.  You can also use cardboard or paper feed sacks for this project.
learn no dig gardening less weeds, water, and bugs Pic 6
This will break down and add nutrients to the soil and it will keep the weeds or grass from growing in my new spot. I like cedar mulch because it smells good, it breaks down fairly quickly, and it serves to help keep some bugs out of my garden because they do not like the cedar.  Kind of like a cedar closet for my garden so to speak.
Learn no dig gardening, less watering, weeding and bugs Pic 7
 I prefer this method over having the soil tilled.  I see the benefits of tilling if your soil is compacted and needs amendments added to it but since I have at least a year before I can plant anyway, why not do it the no dig way?  Everywhere that I use this method the soil is wonderfully rich and perfect for growing things.
Learn no dig gardening, less weeding, watering and bugs Pic 8
You might try it yourself, you will be amazed how much easier it is.  One of the best parts is that you don'g have to pull or clear the weeds first...they become free fertilizer as they cook down under the layers. Between the layers of paper and mulch you can also add a layer of manure which will really get things cooking in your soil.  Just remember to soak everything really well to help with the breakdown.  Add more mulch as needed to keep the soil covered with a 2 or 3 inch layer.  Be sure to poke a hole for your plants that you want to keep or you can simply lay the papers all around them like I did.  They will prosper because they will no longer have to share their nutrients with weeds.
Learn no dig gardening, less watering, digging, and bugs Pic 8
Hopefully I can actually plant my new vegetable garden next spring. In the meantime, I will continue to work on my garden beds, my hardscape and the removal of anything that has died. I am thinking of adding a new water feature or two into my garden but I will tell you about that in another post.
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