Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not in Love with Ruth Stout's No-Till Garden Method

Maybe we didn't follow her instructions exactly. Maybe we had higher hopes than we should have. Maybe it's just a weird year (it is).  In any case, I don't think I am a fan of Ruth Stout's No-Till Garden Method, unless we make some changes.

I think our greatest error was not to have had the garden completely covered over the winter...It was mulched with grass clippings in part of it(which had disintegrated over the winter) and straw in others (which wasn't completely gone by spring), and that wasn't enough.

With the changes in my availability/ability to work a lot in the garden this summer, I sort of planted the garden on a wing and a prayer. Many things would not germinate well (but we have had a cool spring and summer) and we had more weeds break through the mulch and outgrow our veggies when we were away for 10 days. The okra never came up all three times I planted it (never had a problem before this year, and I tried three times).  And then in July we went on vacation(always a negative as far as the garden is concerned).      So it had a lot going against it.

We have had far more success with fully tilling the garden(even just once), pulling out any unwanted plant matter, making rows or hills, planting seeds, and then mulching heavily once seeds emerged.

I think we will be going back to our old way of doing things next year.

For this year, though, we do have a couple of healthy sized melons, cukes, green beans, a couple pepper plants, onions, chard(what the chickens don't eat), corn, and hopefully potatoes(if I can find them past the thistles).  The summer squash have succumbed to the squash bugs..not sure I will even try next year...maybe I will just plant later...

That will have to do for now.  Not much to "survive" on, if we had to, that's for sure.  Thankful we are not relying solely on the garden!

Until next time...

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