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The quick and easy guide to getting started

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  • The quick and easy guide to getting started


    Imagine going out and picking dozens of different kinds of vegetables that grow with little or no maintenance and re-seed themselves year after year just like plants in a meadow.


    1. Stop applying all pesticides, fungicides, weed killers and sprays in and around your entire garden. No exceptions.

    2. Start small, 25 square feet for example. Find the spot that ideally has sun all year in your yard. If it's shaded part of the year, that's OK too. Avoid the area next to buildings or fences because of possible contamination of the soil by paint, heavy metals or chemicals.
    3. Remove whatever debris is covering the soil including rocks larger than a fingernail. If plants already grow there that you want somewhere else, dig them out with the shovel and plant them in the new location.
    4. Cover your gardening area with organic material such as leaves, dried grass and fine plant material from your own or other's non-pesticide sprayed gardens.
    5. Get a bucketful of good compost from someone else's garden or crumbly black sweet-smelling soil from under forest trees. Spread this thinly all over your garden. You will be inoculating your soil with all manner of soil organisms, little bugs, worms and other beneficial life forms that are going to do most of the work for you in improving your soil.
    6. Use the pick or shovel to mix the top 3 inches of soil and organic material. Burying the organic material any deeper just kills the critters and wastes your energy because there may not be enough oxygen for them further down.
    7. Keep the soil damp like a wrung out sponge, not soggy. Once again, you need air in the soil for life.
    8. Never walk on your soil. Make a kneeling board out of a small piece of scrap plywood to avoid compacting the soil and use an old cushion to save your knees. Create the minimum width paths to be able to reach across a four foot wide bed from both sides.
    9. Obtain vegetables in 4" square pots, a common size, or get plants from friends. Dig a hole slightly larger than the rootball, squeeze the sides of the pot to unstick the plant, moisten the rootball, fluff it's roots sideways and plant it. Mulch around it on the surface with organic material like leaves or straw to keep the soil moist underneath it. Water the root ball with a slow drip such as a bucket with a nail hole to allow air to be pulled down after the water.
    10. Start your own compost heap in a corner of the garden. Skip the gimmicks, tumblers, boxes and devices. Just heap up all the clean organic material that you can get and mix it up occasionally, keeping it as moist as a wrung out sponge. Apply the compost periodically to the soil around your plants as a light dusting or use it to start your own seeds in a 50/50 mix of native soil and compost.
    Last edited by Tariq; 10-24-2014, 03:34 PM. Reason: organic food

  • #2
    Great post and very timely. I'm in the process of acquiring land and want to get started with a small garden as soon as I get it...but I know very little about planting. This info has given me the confidence to get started. Thank you bro Tariq.

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