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Grow Your Garden the Easy Way : )

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I see several posts about gardens and hear many struggles and such back breaking labor put into them and I wanted to share about my families garden.  I wanted to let people know that it doesn't have to be so labor intensive.  

You don't have to get up and water morning noon and night, you don't have to get down on your knees and weed for ours in the hot sun every day.  You don't have to get your hands all dirty digging and planting either.  You don't even need any chemicals or fertilizers.  Gardening can be really really simple and you can have a great harvest with very little time invested and almost no labor.  

We have a kemlite/carpet garden.  I generally call it a Carpet Garden but we grow our sweet corn out of Kemlite.  Kemlite is this nifty material also known as glasbord, it often covers the walls in restaurants and truck stop bathrooms.  Its very inexpensive and durable.

First you till your garden, we don't even do this every year.  One year we till, the next we just "aerate" it with something like this:

a person can aerate their garden area with almost anything stronger than dirt and is poky.  The idea is just to fluff up your soil a bit.  I have heard of people putting nails in their shoes to aerate by walking the area.  Lots of techniques.  With a little creativity one can come up with something.  So having access to a fancy tiller is not always necessary.  We don't have one, our garden is great.  Every other year or so we just borrow our neighbors.  

Her is an image of some typical Kemlite, though it comes in many textures and colors.

After you have fluffed up the soil you lay the Kemlite down, or old carpet.  Whatever one you have easy access to, here is a sample of old carpet ; ) 

If you decide to use Kemlite, after you have laid it down in the area you are growing in you will need a drill, or some kind of hole punch.  To create holes in the Kemlite suitable for your plant.  Generally the holes need not be any larger than three inches wide.  The idea is to give the stalk of the plant plenty of room to thrive but not enough room for any weeds to thrive.  Drill/Punch the holes like you would lay cookies on a cookie sheet.  Space them out, line them up.  

Carpet is generally easier to work with but some people have easy access to Kemlite.  If you use carpet you simply roll it out fiber side down over the area you are growing in.  Take a box cutter and mentally map out where you are putting the holes for plants.  With your box cutter slice two side of a triangle to make a flap, tuck the flap underneath.  The size of the flap should allow about a 3 inch imaginary circle to fit in the hole the flap leaves behind.  

After you have all of the holes for your plants to go in.  You can begin planting.  If you are using seedlings you'll need a little bitty shovel or just dig with your hands.  We like to use actual seeds.  

My husband created a device using scrap iron that just stabs seed size holes into the ground.   People get really creative making their own seed planters here is an example of one guy that got way into it...  

My husbands is far more primitive.  Its just a piece of thin iron with another piece welded to the top as a handle.  We just put weight on the handle and stab holes in the proper pre-made spots about two inches deep while the other person walks along behind dropping seeds in the holes carrying a bucket of dirt and sprinkling it over the dropped seed.  

Voila, your garden is planted.  You can do whatever you fancy as far as labeling things and making sure you know what you planted where lol.  

We use old worn tires instead of tomato cages.  We use rubber snakes to keep the critters and birds out of the garden.  

My husband set up a watering system.  He basically took a standard spike lawn water-er, this kind:

and fastened it to homemade tripod contraption so it was sitting about 4 feet off the ground.  We put it in the middle of the garden and every day after work we turn it on and shut it off before bed.

There is no weeding involved with this gardening "style" that is the biggest benefit.  The fact that the plants surroundings are carpet or kemlite make it a natural bug deterrent.  When watering the kemlite or carpet pool or absorb the water and in the heat of the day continuously provide the plants water, this helps with problems like plants getting sunburned or drastic changes from bone dry to sloppy wet.  

I'm sharing this because this is a technique that seems to be somewhat of a secret, my husbands family are the only people Ive ever known to do this.  I'm also sharing because I think our garden is very impressive, and comparatively we spend a significantly less amount of time "gardening" then other people do with gardens not as nice as ours.  

After the harvest is over you just roll up your kemlite or carpet and wait till next spring to do it again.  The carpet may need to be replaced every other year or so because it rots and some how becomes one with the earth lol.  

So that is how we do our garden the easy way.  Phew, that took much longer to explain than I anticipated.  Good luck with all of your gardens this spring!



by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 5:25 PM
Replies (11-19):
AHmom103
by Gold Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

 Lol! Make a fence out of bird netting or something. My dad tried all kinds of different things for years, and finally gave up and fenced it in with thin black plastic bird netting, then he ties strips of plastic bags on it at different intervals so the deer won't go crashing through it.

Quoting Anonymous:

This may sound really dumb but do you have deer around you? We just moved and have tons of deer. I always plant a garden and at our old house we didn't have deer to worry about. But now we live in the middle of no where and they are everywhere. How do I keep them out of my garden? And by deer I mean last week there was 28 in my backyard!!


Quoting Lizardannie1966:

Sounds cool but I actually like the hard work that goes into a garden from the tilling to the weeding to the fertilizing and watering to the weeding.

These pics below are from our summer garden last year. We're getting ready to plant corn, different peppers, radishes, yellow onions, butter lettuce and tomatoes during spring break next week.




 

 




Matriarch87
by Ruby Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM
you didnt ask me but i thought id offer one of my tips. Have your husband pee all around it. You can also fence it in or put up a scarecrow dressed in dirty laundry...deer generally stay clear of human scent.

Quoting Anonymous:

This may sound really dumb but do you have deer around you? We just moved and have tons of deer. I always plant a garden and at our old house we didn't have deer to worry about. But now we live in the middle of no where and they are everywhere. How do I keep them out of my garden? And by deer I mean last week there was 28 in my backyard!!




Quoting Lizardannie1966:

Sounds cool but I actually like the hard work that goes into a garden from the tilling to the weeding to the fertilizing and watering to the weeding.

These pics below are from our summer garden last year. We're getting ready to plant corn, different peppers, radishes, yellow onions, butter lettuce and tomatoes during spring break next week.




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Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Mar. 6, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Whether your carpets are new or old, they probably have more bad things in them than you want to imagine. The list is staggering. For new carpets there are ‘volatile organic compounds’ VOC’s. These include toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene, acetone and a host of other chemicals, some of which have already made the EPA’s list of Extremely Hazardous Substances. Known carcinogens such as p-Dichlorobenzene are in new carpets, as are chemicals that produce fetal abnormalities in test animals. These chemicals also cause hallucinations, nerve damage and respiratory illness in humans.

Gardeningmom4
by Ruby Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM

What about the chemicals they use to make carpets though?Wouldn't  that be absorbed by the plants?

Matriarch87
by Ruby Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 6:10 PM

I dont have a concrete answer for that other than commercial farmers spray their crops directly with lethal pesticides akin to whats in nuclear weapons...so taking that into consideration, I guess im not worried about what is possibly running off the carpet...

Quoting Gardeningmom4:

What about the chemicals they use to make carpets though?Wouldn't  that be absorbed by the plants?


Matriarch87
by Ruby Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Well that is neat information and I thank you for sharing it...considering the chemicals that are sprayed directly onto crops like pesticides and fertilizers I gotta say im not at all concerned about what is running off the carpet...

Quoting Anonymous:

Whether your carpets are new or old, they probably have more bad things in them than you want to imagine. The list is staggering. For new carpets there are ‘volatile organic compounds’ VOC’s. These include toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene, acetone and a host of other chemicals, some of which have already made the EPA’s list of Extremely Hazardous Substances. Known carcinogens such as p-Dichlorobenzene are in new carpets, as are chemicals that produce fetal abnormalities in test animals. These chemicals also cause hallucinations, nerve damage and respiratory illness in humans.


Matriarch87
by Ruby Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 6:15 PM

I've learned this isn't a family secret lol.  But other people also carpet their gardens and in this article it says if you are concerned about being all organic you can use synthetic carpet.

http://lifehacker.com/5873980/get-your-new-garden-ready-for-spring-with-old-carpet

Matriarch87
by Ruby Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Here is another neat article on carpeting your garden.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1972-03-01/Carpet-Your-Garden.aspx#axzz2Mnw1G8yc

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Mar. 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM
1 mom liked this
Thanks so much! I'll give it a try!!


Quoting Matriarch87:

you didnt ask me but i thought id offer one of my tips. Have your husband pee all around it. You can also fence it in or put up a scarecrow dressed in dirty laundry...deer generally stay clear of human scent.



Quoting Anonymous:

This may sound really dumb but do you have deer around you? We just moved and have tons of deer. I always plant a garden and at our old house we didn't have deer to worry about. But now we live in the middle of no where and they are everywhere. How do I keep them out of my garden? And by deer I mean last week there was 28 in my backyard!!






Quoting Lizardannie1966:

Sounds cool but I actually like the hard work that goes into a garden from the tilling to the weeding to the fertilizing and watering to the weeding.

These pics below are from our summer garden last year. We're getting ready to plant corn, different peppers, radishes, yellow onions, butter lettuce and tomatoes during spring break next week.





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