Different ways to Garden…
There are many different methods of gardening, but all of them are basically the same. If you have good dirt you put stuff in it in a hole and it grows. Now, if you live in the southeast like I do you most likely have clay for your dirt and that is not good. Clay does have the ultimate amount of vitamins and minerals, but they are not accessible. You have to make them accessible and the best way to do that is to layer on top and let it break down underneath slowly. You can add it directly into the dirt, but it will just swallow it whole and you will never see it again.
In order to go above and make things better there are a lot of different ways to go. You can use the Back to Eden Method
To use the Back to Eden method you would put 6 to 8 inches of wood chips and sawdust over the area you plan to grow in. Dig through and make a hole for the plant and cover back up with what you removed. Sounds easy and is. And works in some areas. I have found that in this particular area it does not however. It causes lots of not so good mushrooms and the fire ants think it is the best thing since sliced bread. I have tried this one personally and it does not work for me. Although, I believe the idea is brilliant and it really does work in some areas.
The Deep Mulch method
To use the deep mulch method you can use about anything, hay is the norm, and you lay about 2 feet of it on the ground where you want to grow. This does work in my area. I am going to use this when I set up the “alley way” garden. It is a lane down the front of 2 pastures where the cows used to go through and get from 1 to the other.
After you lay out the hay you can make rows in it and plant in the rows pulling the hay or other material back up around the plants as they grow or immediately if they are large enough.
Or Lasagna Gardening to name but a few.
I love Lasagna Gardening and the book by Pat Lanza started it all. My aunt gave me the book one summer when I was at her house and could not leave it alone. I read the whole thing like three times while I was there. I fell in love with the idea of a simple garden method you set up once and just have to mulch from then on. It is also known as strip or sheet composting.
You can do it many ways, but the most common goes something like this. You mark out your beds and layer composting materials or mulching materials in layers, such as first manure, then hay, then grass clippings you saved from the summer, then leaves, then vegetable scraps, then more hay or leaves or something dry and brown. You can then either let it rot over winter and become some seriously awesome dirt to play in, or you can make a spot in the layers all the way to the ground and plant directly into this beautiful stuff.
From then on, you just keep adding mulch, and whatever other natural things you are adding to your compost, and let things grow. (Can you tell this one is my favorite?)
I love to garden and if you do to we should talk. Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite way to garden is. I would love to know.
Remember to always love with all your heart.
Hugs and Compost,