This year we are trying to set up one of the smaller gardens as a "Back to Eden Garden" Money sitting in a savings account is not earning interest so we are buying items to make life a little easier on the homestead. In March we purchased a Stanley Chipper Shredder to start making our own wood chips for the garden. Many localities can have the tree trimmers drop off wood chips on your property but we are not one of them.
We started out by laying 4 layers of newspaper down. A light sprinkling of soil will hold the paper down if it's windy.
We could not collect enough newspaper for our project so we went to the news paper office and bought the ends of their rolls for $1.00 each and you get a lot of paper on each roll.
Next we added mushroom compost mixed in with some garden soil.
You can barely see them now but onions were planted in this row.
The wood chips are now added.
The tomatoes and peppers seem to love this stuff. I've gotten the wood chips around the plants. In between the rows I have hay with goat poop down. I'll add wood chips on top of this as I can.
The tomatoes are beginning to bloom.
I have only watered twice so far in 3 weeks and we've had a couple of light showers. When you pull back the chips, the soil is dark and damp beneath. The true test will come when we reach the 90's and 100 temps.
The very few weeds that have sprouted pulls out of the ground easily with no digging required.
I had to get the peas and beans in the ground so it is not done Eden style yet. Our crazy weather pattern has me over a month behind on the garden. The chickens used this section of the garden since last August so it is fertilized and weed free for now. I will lay paper and chips down as time permits.
I've started pulling the pineapple out of the greenhouse and planting. I'll come back with the newspaper, manure and chips later.
One plant couldn't wait to get started and has already formed a baby pineapple.
Hopefully all of this labor intensive work will eventually produce me a garden of Eden instead of a garden of weeding!