Life is hard (and meaningless), but gardening doesn’t have to be. Anyone can be a Social Botanist and here at Stillgarden Distillery our gardening extraordinaires and community of harvesters and foragers will help you bring life into the world! Join Alan on a nihilistic guide to creating beautiful things easily.
Tilling is boring, bad and pointless. There are billions of microbes in the underground soil that support the life above and send necessary minerals to your plants. While tilling the soil might initially bring a surge of oxygen to your garden, when done every year, tilling kills off essential fungal networks and beneficial life forms that help create a fertile environment for your plants. Think of the soil like you would your gut. You need all that grim sounding bacteria to exist within in you for numerous reasons. It goes without saying you would not expose your gut to the elements extend the same courtesy to your soil.
Yeah, but what about weeds Alan, what do we do then!?
Preparation in advance will see that no weeds form within your soon-to-burgeoning garden. While initially that sounds like lots of effort it makes for much less work in the long run. Thoughtful and active avoidance of future effort is the key here. It’s affectionately called the Lasagna System. It is not delicious as the TV dinner staple, but it is indeed clever.
This method of gardening consists of layering different types of organic material to mimic the different horizons of the soil.
Base layer – The first thing you always put on top of the existing soil is a weed barrier (use one of the million Amazon boxes still lying around the house since Christmas). Just lay cardboard, or multiple layers of newspaper, on top of the grass or wherever it is you will soon be calling your “garden bed.”
Second layer – Here is where you’ll place a layer of sand or rock debris. Gravel from your neighbour’s driveway works too for a fun and free way to spite them for having too many visitors during a pandemic.
Middle layer – This layer always contains some form of compost like manure (NOT from your dog or cat, but properly aged manure) or composted kitchen scraps.
Fourth layer – Cover the manure or compost layer with grass clippings, leaves, kitchen scraps, and coffee grounds (coffee shops will literally be delighted to give you their spent coffee grounds if you ask nicely).
Top layer – Time to cover the compost so that the flies don’t get to it! Use straw mulch or natural wood chips.
Once all of the layers of your Lasagna garden are in place, weeding is almost non-existent and your plants will be well fertilized without any more effort! Sound like fun? Come grow with us as we kick off this year’s Social Botanist Project.
Okay, that’s enough work for now. Go grab a G&T!