We have stepped into the next phase of our 2013 Back to Eden Garden. We are now ready to lay down the mulch, put the wood chips on and plant the seedlings Jennifer started in the house as well as some organic seeds I bought.
Mulching the mulch
We knew we already had a great source of mulch – our rabbit’s manure. Rabbit manure is great – safe and nutrient rich enough that you can just take the pellets – au naturel – and lay them in your garden bed, containers, yard – anywhere.
Worms get nice and fat off of it too, so we get the benefit two times over. However, there is a benefit to mulching the manure as well. There are not very many worms in the area yet, but there are some and we have found several cocoons.
Little baby worms can feed off of the mulched manure much, much easier than off of whole pellets. Since we are expecting baby worms, it makes sense to ensure that they have a good amount of feed ready for them.
Also, we wanted to spread this around the whole garden.
It is easier to ensure a good even spreading as a mulch, than as pellets. As such, pellets, dropped hay and some wood chips we had laid down beneath the rabbit cages all went into the chipper/shredder for some processing down in to mulch.
Check out the video of the mulching process by clicking this link, or by watching right here:
Laying out the Wood Chips:
The key ingredient to the Back to Eden Garden is the wood chips – what people might typically associate as “mulch” if you were to go to a large garden center. A good thick layer is used, about 4 – 6 inches.
This does several things: Retains moisture to eliminate watering needs, discourages weed growth, makes weed removal easy, encourages a natural environment – such as bringing worms to the soil and keeps the soil at a good tilth.
We knew from a previous update that we did not have enough wood chips to do the entire plot we had set aside for the garden. However, we had to get a start right away, so we had to compromise. Instead of having a 6 inch layer of chips, we brought it down to 3 inches.
This should be okay since the plant need a little growing time before we could put more than that amount of wood chips around them anyhow. By making this compromise we were able to cover about 1/3 of the garden, rather than the 1/5 that we would have otherwise.
Squarefoot Gardening vs. Traditional Rows:
If it was not enough that we were trying out Back to Eden Gardening, we decided to throw another test into the mix – a comparison between traditional row gardening, and the squarefoot gardening method.
You can check out this section by clicking here, or watch the video below, or continue reading on for all the details: