I want to be honest for a second, we are fairly lazy gardeners. It doesn’t help that the garden is down the hill and that we’re not fans of weeding. We usually leave the weeds until they are to the point of almost overtaking everything!
Despite letting it get totally overrun with weeds we still get a decent yield, as above photo from last year shows.
This year, in planning our garden, we decided to be honest with ourselves and make a change. We’re not going to weed every day, or even every week some weeks. We work, homeschool, blog, socialize … we’re, in short, busy. So this year we decided to weed proof our garden from the start. Since it’s an organic garden and we don’t use any fertilizer or chemical pesticides all of our solutions had to be non-chemical.
We lined all of the paths with landscaping fabric and covered them with pine mulch. The center row, which gets most of the traffic we covered in river rock. All of this was carried, lovingly, by hand, by my hubby either down the hill from the driveway or the 100 yards from the street. For the beds we soaked paper leaf bags in water, laid them over the soil and then soaked them with more water. When it was time to plant we simply* cut holes or slits in the paper and placed our seeds or starts. Once the plants grew high enough we covered them with mulch. After planting this is what we ended up with.
After nearly three weeks of neglect, I did water, I didn’t know what to expect when I went down to the garden over the weekend so I had planned to spend a good hour or two weeding the garden, while the girls had a tea party with their grandmother. That’s when I got to the garden and found this:
There were a few weeds peaking up from the sides of the beds but that was about it. They were dispatched in 15 minutes flat. Since we had planned to weed for two hours and it only took 15 minutes we took off to a local coffee shop to enjoy the rest of the 2 hours together relaxing. All of the time and energy that we put into this garden is finally paying off. Now if the plants could hurry on up we could enjoy the “veggies” of our labor on our plates as well.*We thought this would be much easier than it was in practice. It’s ridiculously hard to cut strips through four layers of semi-wet paper leaf bag without destroying the bag or slicing yourself. That being said it was still worth it.