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Old 04-10-2012, 12:12 PM   #21
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I should have mentioned in my first post, that year round mulching is called by some -- sheet composting.

The mulch material -- leaves and hay [yes, I use hay] over time, and with help from the multitude of earthworms they attract are transformed into compost.

I keep a foot or so of leaves and hay over my garden beds winter and summer. Over time, it settles to about 4 or 5 inches.

This is a photo of my mulched garden last summer.

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:34 PM   #22
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I should have mentioned in my first post, that year round mulching is called by some -- sheet composting.
Your garden looks lovely.
I've heard it called flat sheet composting too.

I have one of my garden's like this too--lots of mulch. We call it the lasagna garden (google that), because it is made of layers of mulch and no rototilling is needed.

We started by laying down heavy cardboard over the lawn (yes), no staples or tape. Then we added bushels of evergreen prunings (branches too), sprinkled with lime. Then brought in soil on top and compost (including manure) corn cobs. Topped that with straw, let it start to break down over winter.

In spring, we added more kitchen waste and soil, and put wood sides on it--so now it's a raised garden, paving blocks around it.
Planted all sorts of things, mostly lettuces and things to use in salad, so we should have called it the salad garden.

This spring we'll plant more salad things and I already have some lettuces growing right now--and some leeks. (and here--we could still have snow to come for another month)
The branches that were in it for composting have taken 2 years to break down but that didn't hinder things from growing like crazy last year.

It's my favorite garden because it is close to the kitchen (right behind the garage), I go to it everyday to pick something starting much earlier in the year than the other gardens. No tilling!
Last year (the first growing year) I was able to have all the lettuce, onions, beets, peas and more that I wanted or needed and still give bags of it away to the neighbors. A few stray tomatoes were put in there too and they did beautifully. As I get older, I know I'll convert the other gardens to this type of garden because it is easier to maintain (little weeding) and with all those mulches and compost, they do so well. I'm very happy!
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:58 PM   #23
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Your garden looks lovely.
I've heard it called flat sheet composting too.

I have one of my garden's like this too--lots of mulch. We call it the lasagna garden (google that), because it is made of layers of mulch and no rototilling is needed.

As I get older, I know I'll convert the other gardens to this type of garden because it is easier to maintain (little weeding) and with all those mulches and compost, they do so well. I'm very happy!
If I hadn't started my gardens this way, I would not be able to handle the work. Arthuritis is kicking my butt!

My sister calls my gardens "hay piles" because everything is mulched with first a layer of leaves, then a topper of hay. My rose garden, my herb garden, my small orchard of fruit trees, my grape vines, and my vegetable raised beds all are heavily mulched.

Here is my rose garden the first year.




Here is a photo of my rose garden last summer.




My asparagus bed the first year. It is now 3 years old. See the big round bale of hay in the background!




My herb garden the first year [3 years ago].

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Old 04-10-2012, 01:05 PM   #24
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My sister calls my gardens "hay piles" because everything is mulched with first a layer of leaves, then a topper of hay. My rose garden, my herb garden, my small orchard of fruit trees, my grape vines, and my vegetable raised beds all are heavily mulched.
Call it HAY PILES, call it sheet composting, call it lasagna gardening--who cares what you call it. It's GORGEOUS. You have some amazing stuff going on there!!
I would have never thought to do the rose garden--it's fantastic! I love the idea of grape vines too--I may have to try that.

You are now my gardening idol.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:23 PM   #25
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Call it HAY PILES, call it sheet composting, call it lasagna gardening--who cares what you call it. It's GORGEOUS. You have some amazing stuff going on there!!
I would have never thought to do the rose garden--it's fantastic! I love the idea of grape vines too--I may have to try that.

You are now my gardening idol.
Thanks so very much! My sister thinks my landscaping is ugly.... But I disagree, and I am glad you do too.

All I do know is my rock strewn heavy clay soil is gradually turning into some nice rich humus this way.

I owe my knowledge to a little lady named Ruth Stout. She wrote several books starting in the 1950s to the 1970s. Google Ruth Stout and mulch gardening and you will see she was a fantastic lady. Her books are out of print, but you can get lucky on Ebay or Amazon. They are a worthwhile read let me tell you. I have read and re-read her for decades and because of her, all of the gardens I have had over the years were great successes.

Thank you!
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:12 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leolady View Post
Thanks so very much! My sister thinks my landscaping is ugly.... But I disagree, and I am glad you do too.

All I do know is my rock strewn heavy clay soil is gradually turning into some nice rich humus this way.

I owe my knowledge to a little lady named Ruth Stout. She wrote several books starting in the 1950s to the 1970s. Google Ruth Stout and mulch gardening and you will see she was a fantastic lady. Her books are out of print, but you can get lucky on Ebay or Amazon. They are a worthwhile read let me tell you. I have read and re-read her for decades and because of her, all of the gardens I have had over the years were great successes.

Thank you!
I agree, your landscaping is lovely.

Thank you for the info on Ruth Stout. She, and her system, sound very interesting. I have set a reminder for myself to read up on it in May, as soon as tax season is over.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:02 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leolady

Thanks so very much! My sister thinks my landscaping is ugly.... But I disagree, and I am glad you do too.

All I do know is my rock strewn heavy clay soil is gradually turning into some nice rich humus this way.

I owe my knowledge to a little lady named Ruth Stout. She wrote several books starting in the 1950s to the 1970s. Google Ruth Stout and mulch gardening and you will see she was a fantastic lady. Her books are out of print, but you can get lucky on Ebay or Amazon. They are a worthwhile read let me tell you. I have read and re-read her for decades and because of her, all of the gardens I have had over the years were great successes.

Thank you!
Very nice, Leolady!
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:12 PM   #28
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Very nice indeed. Also thanks for the info on Ruth Stout.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:47 AM   #29
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Here is a photo of my rose garden which I took yesterday. It really has grown hasn't it?

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:58 AM   #30
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It's gorgeous Leolady!
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