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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A blank (almost) canvas

The veggie garden was choked with weeds and although I profess to love gardening the situation was causing a huge motivation problem for me.  It just seemed like such a huge job and I didn't quite know where to start.  Being spring, each day I procrastinated the weeds grew taller, more lush and confident.   Well...I mowed it and this made a massive difference.

Now I have mulched a large part of it with pea straw.  That's right I didn't dig it.  I am going to follow Jackie French's advice:
Don't dig. Sometimes I think humans have a sort of racial memory to dig- like kids digging in sandpit. Dig if you want to- but don't assume it'll make your garden any better.

So, for the most part, I am traveling the 'no dig' road. When it comes to planting, I will make a hole in the straw, put in some compost and plant in that. I will dig a couple of beds for root crops because I think you getter a better root that way.

I had some human help to move the nineteen barrow-loads of bark chips to create a long curved path from the gate at one corner of the patch to the other.  I also had lots of chook help in spreading the straw and chips.

Now I can't wait to begin planting but I will hold myself back till it is a bit warmer.  How will I know when to plant? It will be comfortable for me to sit  on the ground with bare buttocks...Jackie says so.

If you are interested in more of Jackie's advice, there is a link in the side bar at the right.  she has a great timetable for planting and jobs in the sustainable garden.


  1. I am very disappointed! This post left me wide open for all sorts of shady comments and no one took the opportunity. Nice to know my readers are so polite.

  2. I have the genetic programming of neatness and digging and am very interested to follow your progress in your no dig vegie garden.
    Be careful sitting on the ground with bare buttocks this is the way you contract worms! ha ha

  3. thanks for the comment 'anonymous'. Jackie also says that you can use the back of your wrist to test the temperature of the ground. :-) I am not sure what is 'not neat' about a no dig garden. I can still plant in rows. Is it the straw?

  4. Just so that others know the precise way to test whether it is the right time to plant your seedlings you might like to post some visual aides for everyone to follow.

  5. Thanks Cookie for such a good idea. I will give it consideration.


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