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How to Start a No-Till Garden Bed | Enhanced Garden&Life

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

I believe that a no-till garden bed is one of the best ways to garden. With rototilling, you kill all the helpful organisms in the soil. This allows the sun to hit the earth and dry out and cause it to become compacted. Imagine standing in the sun year after year with your shirt off. Your skin will become hard, dry, and cracked. Your skin will be dehydrated, and it will look like leather. No one wants to destroy their skin this way. That is essentially what happens to your soil when you let the sun beat on it repeatedly. I believe that no-till gardening is beneficial to your plants and the environment. Now that being said, let's learn how to start a no-till garden.

First, follow the steps in How to Start a Vegetable Garden. After you have gone through all the stages of starting your garden, you will want to prepare the area you will have chosen for your garden. Depending on what you're growing, either perennials or annuals will make a difference in how you will want to set this up.

I have placed wood chips down as a mulch for perennials in my garden. Wood chips, straw, or even rocks. Whatever simple for you to get your hands on. For me, I can get wood chips for free at my local City Recycle Center. Perennials seem to thrive in this environment how I set this up. First, you need to lay down some material like cardboard, paper, or newspaper. The purpose of this is to kill the grass and the weeds. You can use any material that will decompose over time. After you have laid your paper material down, soak it with water. After that, add your mulch on top. As soon as you have your mulch down, start planting in your new perennial no-till garden bed!

Let's move on to preparing for an annual no-till garden bed. You want to do the same thing as the perennials above to kill the grass and weeds by laying a paper material down to decompose over time. Once you have soaked the material in water, lay compost over the top of the paper material. Once you have your compost down, go ahead and plant in your new no-till annual garden bed!

Materials to avoid

Any colored wood chips

Magazine type paper


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