Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back to Eden inspired vegetable garden part 2

Siemer and Sons Gardening Service and a girl Siemer came this afternoon and got all of the soil and wood chips moved for our Back to Eden style garden bed. We are so excited! Not only did they do an awesome job but we really enjoyed our time as friends too.

One of our acquaintances mentioned we may still have weeds coming up after this process and I wanted to address that concern quickly here. While we have never done exactly this type of garden before, we have done some very similar things to choke out all weeds, including crab grass and other noxious weeds.

The key is to make sure that you prepare well beforehand. When laying out cardboard you must make sure to overlap the edges and I even went as far as to lay down a few layers of newspaper in between the cardboard pieces underneath so not even a tiny bit of earth was showing. The weeds will not get the light they need and the area should have too much nitrogen for them to grow up from underneath.

Weeds go with gardening. We could spend hours debating what a "weed" is. The invasive ones will crawl up and over from the edges so you have to be diligent about pulling weeds around this type of bed. Also, the wind and your feet will carry weed seeds into the garden so you do have to pull those weeds as soon as you see them coming which will be easy in this loose soil if you do it regularly. There is no such thing as a completely weed free garden but I expect this one will be easy to manage.

Here's the area with all of the cardboard and newspaper laid out - the smaller mound is our hugelkultur
The Siemers arrived with their glorious tractor and turned what would have taken us a month to do into a few hours work.
Laying out the grower's mix first. We covered the hugelkultur with some fresh soil too.
I was very impressed with the tractor and if someone gave us one, I certainly would not turn it down. Until then, The Siemers are an excellent crew and I hope they'll be willing to come back if we decide to expand on this. We're going to try it for awhile to see if it lives up to our expectations, which I admit are high right now. Maybe because I am high on soil dust.

The first layer of wood going on the beautiful soil that the crew spread out perfectly. 
Almost done. Goodness. It's hot out. 

I think this was the final load.

Here she is.
I'm going to have to post a part 3 to this series because I haven't had the time to plan beyond this. I feel like this seed was planted and grew so quickly that now I need to take a second. This is the biggest blank canvas we've ever had at one time. It's only 23 x 25 feet but we've been urban gardeners in the past. This is a nice spread.

I need to thank my dear friend and lifelong mentor, Sandi Repetowski, for sending me an email about this concept. She thought I might be interested in exploring it further and I was. I watched the movie on my laptop and immediately started praying about how to get it started. I have never seen anything that made more sense to me as far as creating a healthy environment for plants. Not that I'm an expert but my intuition was all tingly. 

Two days later, we received an email from someone who wanted to buy green pecans and everything just fell perfectly into place. I can't wait to keep you posted about how it goes. 
Gidget doesn't seem disgusted by the idea. Hipster is cool with everything but a little surprised by Gidget's indifference. 

Thanks for reading. 


  1. Where did you get your wood chips? I've also been interested in doing this since I saw the movie. It really does inspire one! And I'll be so excited to see how it works out for you.

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  5. We had a tight schedule, but they complied with the original project plan and covered all tasks on time additional info