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

Turning aisles into garden


Broadforking in grassThe first step in my front-garden renovation involved de-compacting the cross aisles. I've tried to simply kill mulch these spots in the past and then plant into the bare ground. But after being walked on for nearly a decade, the soil is too compacted to turn directly into vegetable-garden soil the quick and easy way. So I pulled out the broadfork and gave a few of the cross-aisles some much-needed aeration.

Garden renovation

The other reason simply kill mulching cross aisles failed for me is because I'd already shoveled all of the topsoil out of those areas to apply to the garden beds. So, after laying down a layer of cardboard to block the weeds, I remedied that problem by bringing soil from garden areas I was deleting and applying it to the cross aisles. The photos above show four small beds that were merged into one long bed running the other direction to expedite mowing --- it really is much simpler if all of your beds are parallel to each other. This area is a bit too shady for vegetable gardening, so I'll plant some high-density apples here and hope they get enough sun to thrive.

Much more garden renovation is still to come. Stay tuned!

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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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