Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Podoll's deep mulch family garden

Our Deep-Mulch Garden System
     Our gardens utilize a thick layer of mulch between the rows; the mulch covers the soil in a 4-6 inch thick mat; our rows are spaced 3 feet apart.  This mulch system has many advantages in terms of soil quality. It creates a perfect environment for feeding the soil microbes and earthworms, leaving them undisturbed to do their soil building work.  Mulch also dramatically increases the amount of rainwater that enters the soil, reducing runoff and erosion.  The mulch protects the soil in the event of a hard driving rain.  AND mulch systems offer the user-friendly benefit of helping to control weeds!

 Click to watch our video on Deep, Mulch, No-Till Gardening

Deep Mulch Gardening "How to?"


Pea row planted and trellised.

Much of last year's mulch layer has been decomposed; literally composted in place, adding fertility.  The mulched width between our rows is 3-4 feet.  The only weeding required is between the plants and next to the mulch!

To Plant

The mulch is separated with a pitchfork exposing 6-9" of black soil in the row that is to be planted.   Opening the rows a day or two before planting will help to warm the soil and speed germination.

Once the soil has warmed and you are ready to plant, tilt the blade of your hoe to a vertical position (perpendicular to the soil) or 45 degree angle (whichever you prefer); dig the row 3-6" deep (depending on what is to be planted).

 Smooth the seed bed after digging with a hay fork or the backside of a garden rake (turned tine side up) to gently break up larger aggregates and level the soil.  Plant as directed on your seed packets.