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Our No-dig, No-Till, Lazy Garden

We’re very excited about the new garden area! I knew that I wanted to repurpose all of our packing materials from the move to create a no-dig, no-till space, and this is definitely the laziest/smartest way we’ve ever built a garden!!

We decided to put our main vegetable garden in an empty clearing next to the woods that is slightly sloped. All we did to prep this space was to remove the tape from the cardboard boxes, lay them on the ground and cover them with topsoil and compost - then we planted! We used the same method to put in the mulch pathway and then harvested rocks right from the property to make a stone border. We’ll continue this in a spiral pattern and plant an Elderberry tree at the center.

So far we’ve put in onions, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, okra, various hot peppers and sweet peppers. This weekend even more started tomatoes are going in as well as cucumbers, herbs, lettuces, kale, chard, yarrow and peas. We started the process about a month ago, planting into the beds immediately as we laid them down, and so far the plants are thriving. I took a peek underneath some of the first boxes we laid down and the cardboard is already breaking down. The grass beneath has broken down and the soil is rich and filled with earthworms!

At the back of the clearing we created a natural “raised bed” by utilizing features of the natural landscape, two fallen trees, to plant carrots, sweet potatoes, and sunchokes. This is a HUGE raised bed, about 9’ x 27.’ We moved some other logs in to cap the ends and then filled in gaps with stones foraged from our property. As the logs decay we will continue to add to the stone wall. We lined the bed with cardboard and covered that with chicken wire to keep out voles. The chicken wire is attached to green garden fencing 4’ high to deter other critters (we may need to extend height for deer…we will see). In total it took 10 cubic yards of soil to fill this bed. When sweetpotatoes come up in September, we’ll start putting hardy winter greens in this bed so we can pop a hoop house on top of it when winter arrives and this space will then serve as our smaller winter garden.

It’s been a lot of work hauling dirt and mulch to get the groundwork laid for this garden, but I can’t wait to see the results!


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