Our garden is pretty bare for this time of year, due to unusually cold spring weather, but hope for a bountiful harvest grows with every seedling that sprouts.
In order to share my happy anticipation with you, I ran outside this evening, camera in hand, and captured these images during the precious “golden hour” that photographers love. (Scroll over or click on the photos for more info.)
Two more photos from today are on the Scripture page of this blog. One picture is, I think, the best macro photo I have ever taken of a honeybee!
You may have noticed that all our plants are growing in different types of mulch. Our 40-foot-square garden has dedicated planting beds and paths. I do not till, and since starting a new gardening method a year ago, I do not do much else either, other than plant and harvest!
Near the end of 2013, someone told me about a movie called the “Back to Eden: Simple Sustainable Solutions.” It explains gardening methods that basically involve burying your garden under heavy layers of wood chip mulch and natural fertilizers to slowly improve soil quality over several years.
Here’s a link to the movie if you’re interested in watching. Just scroll to the bottom of the page on their web site and click play. The movie lasts a little over an hour and a half.
Here’s another link to a written version, if you’d like just the basic info on how to get started with this low-maintenance type of garden.
One important tip about growing a no-till, heavily-mulched garden: BERMUDA GRASS is your worst enemy!
Bermuda loves the mulch even more than your veggies do and will spread through it like wildfire. You cannot put mulch deeply enough to smother it. I’ve seen it climb up through five-foot-tall round hay bales and happily spread out across the top. When I first started making our raised beds, I actually buried long pieces of vinyl siding around the edges of my garden, which took care of 99% of the problem. That was hard work, but looking back years later, I’d say it was well worth it.
With the bermuda blocked and the 6-inch layer of wood chip mulch on my garden (dumped into my yard for free by the city’s chipper truck), I rarely pulled a weed or watered all last season. No sweltering in the summer heat and no weeds smothering the watermelon vines — beautiful!