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Wood Chip Garden Beds

We laid out our garden N. to S. this fall when the wood chips arrived. We then covered the beds with the fall leaves and shredded paper. This will break down faster than the chips and bring the worms up faster. We then covered each bed with about 10" of wood chips and the walk ways with just a couple inches over the 4" or so of coffee grounds. We have taken some blood meal fertilizer, Sea 90 sea salt and red worm compost tea and applied a coating of each on top to start the enzyme action and put everything in place at the surface for growing. By not tilling, we are not using up any nitrogen in the soil, so as the plant roots reach the soil, they will have anything they need. The worms will continue to produce all the nutrients the plants need as the fungus breaks down the organic matter. The wood chips hold the water, even in the hot summer.
This is now a NO till, NO water, NO fertilize garden and should last as such for 3-5 years. We hope to add to it a little each year though. If I had to do this over, I would put down about half of the wood chips and then char the surface really good, then apply the rest.
We will try to post results in planting. Garlic, lettuce, potatoes and other things are going in the ground soon.

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Comment by Joseph's Page on February 10, 2013 at 2:19pm

For lack of hoops, I used 5 gal buckets to hold up the plastic. Going forward, these would be best used painted black and filled with water/sand to retain the heat from the day sunshine.

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