The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Slapdash lasagna garden

Pepper transplants

We survived Blackberry Winter unscathed! The weekend was a close call, with a low of 33, but it looks like 2017's ultra-early spring is going to continue unabated. Time to set out all those seedlings that have been growing like gangbusters under our elevated sofa for the last couple of months.

Lasagna garden

The lunchbox peppers are loaded with bloom buds, so they were the first to hit the dirt. I set out transplants in a bit of an experimental/slapdash manner, though, so I hope they're able to get their feet under them and continue to grow.

Slapdash transplantThe bed they're in was very weedy kale two weeks ago, at which point I mowed the plants close to the ground then ran the chicken tractor across the soil. The result was somewhat scratched earth but with lots of living weeds still interspersed.

Next up, I topdressed copiously with half-rotted goat-barn bedding. Then I raked back spots to transplant the peppers into, laid down wet newspaper around the transplants and topped it all off with a healthy helping of straw. Lots of layers --- definitely a lasagna garden.

Now to see if the weeds die nicely and the half-rotted bedding is rich enough to feed my hungry peppers. If not, I've got six plants waiting in the wings as backup. Here's hoping I don't need them!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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How did your peppers do with the half composted goat manure? Was it not too hot? My soil is Severely Depleted and I have access to fresh manure but have no finished compost heap and am trying my best to grow organically. Following your suggestions about buckwheat I have designated half the garden to rebuilding the soil while "trying" to have a garden in the other. The buckwheat isn't even hardly growing. It's really thick like you said, just isn't growing tall. We've been having plenty of rain lately(yea! NW Alabama. I'm using granular kelp, blood and bone meal. Would you think fresh manure buried 10-12" away from plants would be bad? Obviously a new gardener and following your advice for building soil but I what can I do now for the garden area? Will you offer advice? Thanks so much. Becki Wilson
Comment by Becki Thu Jun 1 23:17:24 2017

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