Day to Day Adventures

Hay on the Garden

2015, GardenKim Brush5 Comments

I read too much.  It makes me dream.

Then I try new things.

Luckily my husband knows this about me.  So when I told Steve I wanted to cover the garden with hay this year, well, he didn't even blink.

He even found a client who had four free hay bales that he gave us! 

Deep mulch gardening with hay.  NO WEEDS!

Hay on the garden.  Really?  It seems kind of random but it isn't.

At our old house, we had a very small, crowded garden because we had lots of great shade trees.  This kept me from having a big garden but we managed.

Huge tomato

We canned the amazing tomatoes that grew.  They were then made into soups, chili, swiss steak etc.  It was awesome!

But I never had room for pumpkins, cucumbers, carrots, onions, and all the other veggies that we love.  It was one of the reasons we wanted to move.  A larger garden would allow us to grow more of our own food.

Every year I would cram as many tomato plants as I could fit in to this small space.  The paths were small and it was crowded.  I loved this little garden--I just wished it was bigger. 

But in 2013 we moved to a new place and the garden was HUGE!!!!! 

It was a VERY good thing but wow it just baffled me how we were going to keep up with the weeding. I did fine on our little garden because all I did was cover our path's with our grass clippings and maybe some newspaper.  Could we do that with our new big garden?

Hay on Garden
Deep mulch gardening

Over the past year, I kept seeing things on Pinterest about "deep mulch gardening."  I was VERY skeptical & VERY interested.  Somewhere in my reading I ran across a recommendation for the book, Gardening Without Work by Ruth Stout.  She's a very entertaining lady and I loved all of her common sense wisdom.  I giggled all the way through it because of her spunk and fun way of talking.  After reading her book, we decided to try this method on our garden.

trellis square foot garden

Last year we built Square Foot Gardens and that is part of our 2015 Garden plan.  Can't you just see cucumber's climbing up this trellis?  And maybe some acorn squash?  We also have new SFG beds for our strawberries in the orchard.

Newly filled SFG beds. Ready for strawberry plants

Newly filled SFG beds. Ready for strawberry plants

hay bales

We are also working on covering our traditional garden with hay.  It is about 3/4 done.  Do you KNOW how much hay one bale is?  Seriously it is soooooo much!  We are going to have 2.5-3 bales left.  But that's okay because we can repeat our layer in the fall.  It will decompose and make a wonderful compost for this part of the garden.  Not to mention that with 8-12 inches of hay there will be very few weeds that can sprout.  Love it!  Weeding is NO fun!

The traditional garden area will have pumpkins, watermelon, cucumbers & other viney type plants.  They take up so much room and this area is perfect for it!  I also plan to have my tomatoes growing here.  Last year's tomatoes got blight in the spot I chose so we are moving them to this spot. 

Have you tried Deep Mulch aka Ruth Stout method gardening with straw or hay?  I'd love to pick your brain & hear your story.  I will be posting about how it goes through the summer & fall.

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Praying for a bountiful crop!