Wood Chip Gardening - No Tilling
Do not till or mix! Just add a layer! :) WOW! :)I am so happy I have come accross this documentary. I always felt that there is a simple sustainable way to tend for the garden without the use of tilling and thanks to this man I now know what it is :)
I recomend this movie with all my heart trully :) NOTE; He does mention God and the Bible and some might be turned off by it. This gardening technique is amazingly simple and actualy makes sense :)
From the movie web site;
BACK TO EDEN shares the story of one man’s lifelong journey, walking with God and learning how to get back to the simple, productive methods of sustainable provision that were given to man in the garden of Eden. The organic growing system that has resulted from Paul Gautschi’s incredible experiences has garnered the interest of visitors from around the world. However, never until now have Paul’s methods been documented and shared like this!
As a part of our mission to freely give and freely receive, the makers of BACK TO EDEN have agreed to stream the full feature film online for free. For viewers who support this film and who want to help other people see it, please share backtoedenfilm.com, buy copies of the full feature film to give to others or host a screening in your community.
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See the FULL 'BACK TO EDEN MOVIE' HERE!!!
Covering The Soil With Wood Chips Instead Of Tilling
1. "Go out to where nature has not been disturbed, look at what it is doing and copy it!” - Paul Gautschi
2. Find a source of “covering” that is local and readily available to you. Note: *If you are using raw wood chips, allow time for them to break down (at least Fall - Winter). You will experience more work fertilizing if you wait until the Spring to apply raw wood chips.
If you have local tree service companies, call them and ask for a delivery of wood chips.
If you have access to a chipper, chip yard waste on site.
If you have access to a tub grinder, it will save you a lot of time chipping.
If you have a lawn, collect your grass clippings.
If you have trees, gather its leaves.
If you have rocks, they will retain moisture and slowly release nutrients.
If you have weed free hay or straw, assemble a pile together.
If you receive or purchase a newspaper, save it.
Grow plants that can help provide an onsite resource for a “covering.”
“The ground is a living organism. As all living organisms, God has designed and made it so it is always covered with something. It's all about the covering!”
- Paul Gautschi
Dig out any tenacious weeds.
Call local resources such as Recycling Centers, Rescue Missions, businesses or neighbors and ask for their expired newspapers.
Apply at least 3 sheets of damp newspaper over your garden plot to suffocate any other grasses and weeds.
Resist the temptation to work, mix, prepare or till your soil!
Cover it! Simply add a layer!
How thick you apply the cover depends on the material, soil type and weather. For wood chips, if you apply 4-6 inches in the Fall, it will be ready to plant in by Spring.
Note: *The thicker you apply the cover, the longer it takes to break down.
When you apply the covering is up to you! If you look at creation, nature drops its needles and leaves in the Fall.
Note: *If you are using raw wood chips, allow time for them to break down (at least Fall - Winter). You will experience more work fertilizing if you wait until the Spring to apply raw wood chips.
Note: *If you are using composted wood chips that have had time to decay, you may apply and plant in them immediately.
Note: *If you are using composted wood chips that have been screened, you may apply and plant in them immediately (Paul prefers this method for his home garden).
If you already have an orchard or garden in place:
Resist the temptation to till your soil!
If you have weeds or grasses, see instructions on starting a new orchard or garden (above).
Paul Gautschi originally applied 3-4 inches of wood chips to his garden plot.
Paul Gautschi initially applied 12-16 inches of wood chips to his established orchard.
In an orchard, if you apply 12 inches deep of wood chips, they will suffocate grasses and weeds.
4. Where you plant in the wood chips depends on how much they have broken down.
For those starting a new garden or orchard plot with wood chips:
If you are using raw wood chips, pull them back and plant in the soil (ground below the wood chips). Allow the seeds to come up before pulling the wood chips back around the base of the plant.
If you are using composted and/or screened wood chips, you can plant directly into the composted material.
Note: After many years of applying a “covering” to your garden and/or orchard, you will notice your covering break down and transform the soil beneath. After your first year of using wood chips, you will want to plant just below the surface of your wood chips in this fine grained, slightly compacted, aerated, dark compost that will continue to develop over time.
Save your seeds!
5. Every time you water or it rains, compost tea is being deposited into the soil.
If you have chickens, feed them scraps, give them your yard waste, and their manure will accumulate into a wonderful compost.
If you have any farm animal, give them organic weed free feed, mix their manure with sawdust or straw, and apply as much compost as you can as a layer over your garden or orchard.
Initially you may need to use an organic fertilizer as a supplement for the nitrogen used in breaking down the wood chips. Organic blood meal (dried blood) is a good source of nitrogen and organic fish emulsion is also a beneficial organic fertilizer.
Note: If you use chemical fertilizers, you may see immediate results but your need for fertilizers will increase and your natural soil's nutrients will decrease in time. On the contrary, the use of organic fertilizer will provide sustaining nourishment for your soil and you will need less fertilizer as time goes on.
Note: *Do not till or mix. Just add a layer.
6. Water to germinate your seeds and as needed.
“Here is the incredible thing about God and His design, when there is too much water the wood chips displace it and when there is not enough, the wood chips retain it.” - Paul Gautschi
7. Eat your food when it is fresh and in season.
“The advantage of harvesting when things are fresh and in season is that you are getting the ultimate food value.”
- Paul Gautschi
8. At the end of the growing season, reapply a new layer as needed.
“Overtime, you are getting a higher and higher yield with less and less input.” - Paul Gautschi