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Monday, April 18, 2011

Gotta Get This Garden Started

I started my garden, I am fully using the The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book methods, namely using a thick thick layer of hay for mulch, I purchased 4 bales of coastal hay, I didn't till my garden this year, I barely cleaned it up from last year's garden, I just knocked down the big stuff, I did rake out the seed heads from the carrots, I didn't want to save them because I found at least one wild carrot growing in the middle and they can cross pollinate and the seeds will make something other than the original carrots. Other than that, I didn't rake or till, I merely separated the bales and placed the fluffy hay all over my garden. The only place I didn't put the hay was the rock walkway.

I purchased 12 cherry tomato plants (I didn't mean to buy 12, I thought I only picked up 8, my mistake), I also purchased 8 anaheim pepper plants. I figured out where I wanted the plants, I hollowed out places for the plants in the hay, I dug up a bit of dirt and planted each plant, then I tucked the hay around the plants. Next I watered them in, I also watered in the rest of the hay to settle it and add some moisture to the soil.

Here are some pictures of the garden just before I worked it, after I laid down the hay (Thanks LL for helping me with the last bale!) and planted the plants.

This is the garden before the little bit of cleaning I did do. These 3 pictures, you can see the bean pods from last year, I just left them, if they sprout I'll be happy, if they don't, I'm not worried about it. Sorry about these pix being dark, it was getting dark before I stopped, I snapped a few pix before going in for the night.

This is the 4 bales of hay, pre-spread.

Here is Pekoe, wishing I would stop working and come in the sky castle for the night.

Here is the garden, post-spread. I used all 4 bales, honestly 3 would have worked, but I went ahead and used the 4th bale.

This cute little plant is one pepper plant, I planted 8 of them.

These are the tomatoes.

I'm watering the garden here, I took care of the plants then I watered the rest of the garden/hay to settle in the hay and add some moisture to the soil to make it easier to plant later.

Here is a quick video I took of Pekoe running in the hay, she loves doing that

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  1. Wishing you a bountiful harvest and no fires.

  2. I think the no-till method is sheer genius, but I can't seem to convince DH of it! I think he enjoys tilling the ground. *sigh*

  3. Thanks Momlady, I'm hoping that the fires are done for this year. I have high hopes for my garden this year. :)

    Dmarie, my hubby doesn't believe either, that's why I barred him from the garden for now, I'm doing everything myself, it's kinda scary but exciting too, this way I'm 100% responsible for any successes or failures. I have used this method before when I lived in Fort Worth, we did till the garden, once, then we laid down a thick layer of hay, didn't have to till again.

    Can you make a deal with hubby? Maybe you can take one part of the garden and do it your way and he can do his part his way?


  4. I love the no-till method. Much success with your garden this year, Wretha. I'll be down at the end of next month and will get mine going.

  5. I had responded earlier, and stated my concerns about hay instead of straw. Then I read over what little notes I have on Ruth Stout's mulching method, and she does use hay. She said that if weed seeds start to grow up on one of the bats of hay, just turn it over and turn the sprouted seed into more mulch.

  6. jicky, can't wait to see pix. :)

    Jburdine1956, hay or straw, doesn't matter which you use, in the past when I did this, the seeds in the hay would sprout after a few days, I would just shake the hay a bit, hard enough to break up the growth, that's all it took to disturb the roots and the sprouting ceased. I watched as I spread out the hay and I didn't see too many seed heads, hopefully it will not be an issue at all this time.


  7. Wretha, what you are doing is so impressive. We are off grid also, so we know the work it takes. We would love for you to joing the facebook group, High Desert Off Grid. This will create a social network for off griders in the high desert to conect and learn from one another.

  8. Hi, Wretha
    just came here from sidetick (read your response on Shawn's blog entry... Now I'm living in New York, but hope that one day I will be able to move somewhere closer to the Nature.


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