Part 1 – Back to Eden Garden: The Checklist

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Ok. And we’re off!

We began taking steps today to put our Back to Eden garden in place.We will have to prepare our growing area first. Several easy steps to get things ready, and then it’ll be a waiting game until planting season.

  1. Plot of land. Done
  2. Contact tree service about mulch. Done
  3. Obtain massive pile of recycled newspapers. Done
  4. Locate source for good soil or compost. (My little Christmas-present composter isn’t enough for even 1/16 of the area that we’ll be gardening!) Done
  5. Identify some good helpers. Done [My 8-year-old son, my mom (on whose land we live) and my brother.]
  6. Apply at least three layers of newspaper all over surface. (Four is better.) Done
  7. Apply a layer of soil of compost over newspaper. (wouldn’t have been necessary if we started in early fall) Done
  8. Apply 4-6″ of tree mulch over soil or compost. Done
  9. Wait for planting season! Done

 

Esther E. Hawkins April 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Any suggestions as to where we could obtain a massive amount of recycled newspapers? Thanks!

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Sara Sara April 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I was able to get stacks of them at my local newspaper. They have bins out back full of papers to be recycled. Sometimes, the bins have already been emptied, but if you catch them before they’re due to be emptied, you’ll be able to get plenty!

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Pat Sullivan June 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

We began preparing last fall with newspaper and then wood chips. This spring was extremely wet but we planted green beans anyway. Don’t know if it’s the wet weather or if we did something wrong but we aren’t getting good results. Also, we have Bermuda grass and nut grass coming up all over the place. I thought the newspaper took care of that.

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Sara Sara July 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

On the actual Back to Eden page of this site, and linked from the home page, is an article explaining why we had to put our garden on hold this year, and probably abandon the Back to Eden technique altogether for where we live. You can read about it here. We ended up running into the same sort of problem with wire grass and pennywort. The newspapers and even up to eight inches of woodchips didn’t keep the tenacious weeds down. In ideal circumstances, we’d have either brought in a couple of goats to clear the garden plot of weeds, or we’d have just burned the plot, but both practices are prohibited where we live. Since we refuse to use toxic herbicides like Roundup, that leaves us with few practical options for keeping the garden free of the grasses between plantings.

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