Ruth Stout/no till gardening questiongreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Thanks to everyone who answered my question a month or so ago about no till gardening; I borrowed the Ruth Stout book "Gardening without Work" and it's great. I'm ready to plan my garden now, or rather, I'm going to have several mini-gardens. The areas I want to use have grass growing now, and my question is, if I mulch over the grass will I be able to plant there in the spring, or do I need to remove/turn over the turf first before I mulch??
As always, I am very grateful for all insight and ideas!
-- Elizabeth in E TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 28, 2001
I believe I've read many times where people put, directly on grass, 4- 5 sheets of newspaper, or cut-open paper feed sacks, or thin cardboard, etc. (whatever is handiest and cheapest), and then put compost, hay, straw, etc. on top and plant in that. Seems to eliminate the grass without tilling or digging. Grass & paper is ultimately composted, and everything is fine. Sometimes easiest is best! Bless Ruth Stout - hope I'm still gardening in my 80's!!
-- Bonnie (email@example.com), December 28, 2001.
Elizabeth, What bonnie said holds true. If you want a bunch of tips about that style, try to borrow Lasagne Gardening , I can't remember who wrote it. rob
-- roberto pokachinni (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 28, 2001.
Thanks guys; I'm so glad, because I really didn't want to get out there with a shovel and dig it all up!
-- Elizabeth in E TX (email@example.com), December 28, 2001.
The ruth stout method should work. It would definitely work better the first year if you till. Once you have a year or two of the stout method under your belt, you shouldn't have to till anymore.
-- Paul Wheaton (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 28, 2001.
Some grass will not be smothered out by mulch. This summer I tried to get rid of some by covering it with plastic and newspapers and leaving it all summer. The stuff ran several feet under the plastic and newspapers and just spread out. Most grass you could do some you can't. Just check out what you are trying to smother. What we have is bermuda that we introduced in some bags of leaves some one gave us and since we don't use herbacides we have had a time with it.
-- David (email@example.com), December 29, 2001.
Hello again! well first off what crops do you want to plant?
what's your last spring frost date?
what's the measurments of your mini-gardens?
are people still bagging up leaves around you? go get em!
do you have access to any trash berber or other carpets?
what's your favorite colour?
-- bj pepper in C. MS. (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 29, 2001.
Old carpets!! I discovered them this year and have now amassed a great pile just waiting to smother those walkway weeds. They are nice to walk on, easy to pick up and move (if you limit their width to 2 to 3 ft. wide) and look quite classy if the colour isn't to horrible. I especially reccommend the short pile sort and avoid the shag. I prefer to keep them off the actual beds as I'm not too sure of any chemicals that might leach out of them. One more thing I like about them is they let in the water unlike plastics.
-- Kathy Millar (email@example.com), December 29, 2001.
Put newspaper directly over the old weeds and grass, knocking them over with your feet first. Cover them with 18 inches of stuff organic, and let the worms get busy. They just LOVE newspaper.
Also, run a search (on Excite is where I found it) on Lasagna gardening. I found 3 different sights, and all agreed about the newspaper, and lots of organics. You might think 18" seems like a lot, but in six monthes it will only be 5-8 inches deep.
-- Marty in KS (Mrs.Puck@Excite.com), December 29, 2001.
I have used the Ruth Stout method since 1995 and haven't tilled my garden since then. The neighbors laughed for a while but they stopped laughing when they saw that I was raising just as good a garden and with much less work, no tiller, no gasoline, and no mud.
-- R. Lynn Carrington (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 04, 2002.