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Veggie gardening weed-free: easy peasy!

Weed Free Garden Tip

 Weed-free veggie gardening



I’ve never battled weeds in my vegetable garden.  I think that’s why I love gardening so much… that, and free organic produce!

I have a friend who gave up growing vegetables because it was too much work to keep up with the weeding.   This post is for anyone that’s in that boat.  It doesn’t have to be that way!

The weed free tip is this…mulch.  It’s free.  It’s easy.  And it makes gardening oh so enjoyable!

Last year I scattered a thin layer of straw mulch and it definitely helped keep weeds down and moisture in.  This year, thanks to the documentary Back to Eden, I learned that laying a thicker layer of mulch would give me an almost  carefree garden.  That carefree promise has held true… very few weeds, much less need for watering.

The documentary, Back to Eden, is a must see for gardeners or wanna be gardeners.  The theme of this film is using gardening methods that follow the created order we see in nature.

You’ll see Paul Gautschi’s beautiful, lush garden in the film.  He shares how his gardening evolved from time consuming, labor intensive practices like tilling, weeding and fertilizing to a much more carefree method that resulted in better produce.

He shows how mulching affects weeds, moisture retention, soil temperature and soil fertility. You can watch it for free here (go to bottom of page), or buy a copy here.   (This is an amazing movie and well worth watching!  Yvonne)

Paul Gautschi shares extremely practical gardening information, but he also weaves in the things God has taught him in his gardening journey.  I came away from watching Back to Eden with a worshipful heart toward the God of creation and an excitement about following the natural order in my garden.

The only negative to this film is that it is pretty long.  You might want to gather some laundry to fold or do another mindless task while you watch. If you don’t want to watch the whole video go to their FAQ page.  You can gain a lot from the info there.

Weed free tips:

▪   When starting a new garden area suppress the weeds by mowing it down low, covering it with newspaper (not cardboard- Paul explains why in the video), wetting the newspaper, then covering it with some dirt, and lastly topping it all with mulch.

▪   Mulch can be anything you have around in excess: leaves, pine needles, straw, hay, wood chips or even stone.    I haven’t spent a dime to get mulch.  Last year I mulched with straw that we had on hand from when we put in our lawn.   This year I’m using pine needles from our yard in the raised bed and free shredded wood in the stone walled garden.

▪   Chase down chainsaw and chipper noises in your neighborhood.  I found a goldmine of shredded wood mulch alongside the road this way, free for the taking.

▪   Other ways to find free wood mulch  is to call wood chippers in your area.  They are often happy to unload the chips at your house if they’re in your neighborhood.  You can also call your electric company and see if they will be trimming trees on your road.  Every few years our electric company trims and chips the limbs that could interfere with their electric lines.  They are happy to get rid of the wood chips.

▪   Master gardener Susan Vinskofski at Learning and Yearning provides a very useful tip about mulching.   It’s worth your time to read her whole article, but in a nutshell she says hay has seeds, straw does not.  That makes straw a better mulch material.  Hay has more minerals than straw.  That makes hay a better mulch material.  She gets the best of both worlds by using hay that has set out in the weather, allowed to sprout, then mulches with it after the sprouts die off.  Brilliant!

When weeds do work their way through the mulch, pull them when they are small, before they have time to develop deep roots or seeds.

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