Progress In The Food Forest! No-Dig Gardening!

in homesteaderscoop •  6 months ago  (edited)

Feeling productive these days!! The weather has been PERFECT for chipping away at that to-do list! Finishing the woodchips for the back part of our food forest is on that list. I worked hard to get 6-8 inches of woodchips we got from our local tree company. The chips are mixed in with leaves, pine needles, and all kinds of goodies to help them break down and to feed the soil below. The tree companies around here have to PAY to DUMP this stuff at a landfill! Why let it go to waste!? Just call then and they will be happy to drop a load to you. Take a look at the progress I did today. The darker area is what I did today. :)

Our entire garden is done BTE style (no dig / lasagna layering). This is a regenerative, soil building process. You are literally creating an ecosystem under the coating. We start by mowing the grass down to the dirt, then lay on cardboard (be sure to overlap a few inches) then top with 6-8 inches of woodchips (best to get from tree companies because it will have leaves, pine needles, and all the goodies all mixed in). You can use this area right away (just be sure to pull back the mulch, cut a hole in the cardboard, and plant down in the soil) or you can choose to let it rest through fall and winter then use it in spring. As it breaks down, you get the most rich, beautiful, nutrient-dense soil. You'll get the mycorrhizal association happening. The soil stays evenly moist almost always so you don't have to water, which also helps so you aren't washing out the nutrients. The soil will be super soft, and you'll have lots of worms and millipedes in there helping to break down the organic matter, leaving you with lots of black gold (worm castings) which in turn feeds the soil/plants. Each year you'll notice it gets better and better. The first year of doing this method stinks to be honest. The second-year is much better. By year three you'll see huge progress. Your produce will be larger, juicier, so full of flavor, and you'll have less pest and disease pressure.

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Today was the last cool day before the heat returns. I feel so happy I got done what I did. Over this last week the cooler weather really had my spirits up, my motivation totally going, and the projects got done. The gazebo got a poly coat, the woodshed got stained, the gardens got cleaned, seeds got started, and so much more. Now tomorrow we get back up to the upper 80's. I'm looking forward to TRUE fall. For now, a little humor to end the night. ;)

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On that note.... Goodnight peeps!!
XOXO
With lots of love
Kindred Acres

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I also do no-till gardening. We do them in raised beds. I'll be watching for updates as our growing season is almost over here in Michigan. Have a good weekend!

Awesome! :) I'll check out your page. Good to see a fellow homesteader using this method. :)

I'm going to try to get some updated garden posts up soon.

Perfect. :)

Love your season's list! I'd have to think what ours are here....

I was really enjoying the false fall. Hahah!! Today we are back up to mid to upper 80's and one day this week we hit low 90's again. At least it isn't triple-digit heat with humidity anymore (that was Hells Front Porch). Bahaha.

Same here, sorta. We had lovely 70's weather for days, then bam back up in the mid 80's. Sigh...

Enjoy what you can while you can. It won't be long before the snow comes. ;)

It is my first time hearing about "lasagna layering"

It's a pretty cool concept. You should check out Paul Gautschi's documentaries on Back To Eden gardening. I've been using this concept for years on several different homesteads and communities in completely different environments/climates and without fail, every time, it worked so well.

Awesome to see all the different gardening methods! We continue to learn and get better every year in our own yard. My boyfriend was just showing me all the activity in the compost bin right now. He's having some really good luck composting in an old trash can, haha! Definitely always great to use things that would otherwise be discarded!

And I am totally with you on the heat! It's pretty much the same here in Georgia. The 90-degree days seem to be never-ending. I know some of the local farmers are having a tough time, but they're trying to make the best of it.

Can't wait to see how this plot progresses and what you end up growing next! :)

Thanks! We've used this method along with hugel mounds, strawbale gardening, and several others mixed in for years. BTE is my fave. It's the most regenerative, long term solution. That bigger area has small fruit trees in there. You can't see them much because a lot were started from small twig cuttings so they don't look like much yet but in time this area will be really filled in with a lot of taller perennials, lower bushes, and then I'll spread out the anuals within. :) It's always so exciting to see what a new year brings.

Composting is definately an awesome thing to do. You'll want to make yourself a good sifter. I like them to be a small square. The bigger ones are to hard for me to work with because they get heavy and my shoulders/arms get so tired. I planned to make a video on how to make them so maybe I'll get that out soon. Sifted compost is awesome starting medium. It's soft, fluffy, full of nutrients, and the plants have plenty of ease moving their roots through it. :)

I would love to see that video! Have you joined in on @simplymike's Community Garden Journal challenge yet? The most recent month was just posted. Every month people will jump in with a post on how their garden is looking, even if it is just a few indoor potted plants. It's a fun one to participate in, but also just go around and read everyone's entries!

https://steemit.com/gardenjournal2019/@simplymike/steemit-community-garden-journal-challenge-september-with-steem-bounty

Oh how cool! I haven't heard of that. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing. And yep, it's on my 'to do' list to build more boxes and make a video of how-to. :)

Happy to share! I'm about to work on my post for this month now. :)

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