So I’ve decided I have nothing to lose by trying the gardening method in the film Back to Eden. See this post for more information on the Back to Eden farming method.
In short, a thick layer of wood chip and leaf mulch is added over a layer of compost over your garden area. The mulch holds water in and slowly breaks down, adding to the nutrient matter of the soil.
It also prevents the soil from hardening.
I got my hands on a truckload of free chipped branches and leaves from a local woodtrimmer. Good thing it was only a “small” truck!
I hauled a bunch of it to the compost bins, to break down into future compost. Then I added some in the garden and in the containers with plants.
Even though I have less than the method calls for (about 2 inches instead of the 4-6 inches thick,) I can see a difference. My plants don’t droop as much when I go to water them.
One thing that’s hard is I find the tiniest transplants get smothered by the mulch, or I can’t see them to water them. But otherwise, it seems great.
A friend said the above photo reminded him of a Russian or Chinese political slogan picture, and he fully expected me to break out in song at any moment.
So I did…
(Sung to The Sound of Music:)
The hills are alive with the chips of mulching (ah-ah-ah-ah)
With leaves they have swept for a thousand years
The hills fill my drive with the chips of mulching (ah-ah-ah-ah)
My back wants to crack every chip it clears
My arms want to sweep like the wings of the birds
That fall from the leaves of the trees
My arms want to rake like the wind
That flies from a church on a breeze
I shovel the hills when my heart is lonely (ah-ah-ah-ah)
I know I will see what I saw before
My yard will be blessed with the chips of mulching
And I’ll shovel once more
Just over a year later, I posted an update with recommendations, and how this worked for me and my garden. You can read about it here.