For as long as us kids can remember our family have been gardeners. Although we love to work the ground we know as well as anyone how terribly time consuming a garden can be! Ours is about a third of and acre and we know all about the blood sweat and tears that fall right alongside the weeds, the watering and the constant care.
As we have reached adulthood there has been less and less time for the garden which means the last several years we have had a massive weed patch!
However this past year we learned a simple trick that has changed our gardening experience forever!!!
The simple tip is this: Wood chips!
Sounds simple right? At first we were quite skeptical but after trying it this year we are die hard believers.
There is an incredible film called Back to Eden that you can watch for free HERE.
It’s the story of a man named Paul Gautschi and his discoveries as a wood chip gardener. Just like our family he started by working himself to the bone to get anything to grow in his soil. Now his produce is rich and full of nutrients! We highly recommend any and every gardener or gardener wanna be watch it! It is well worth the time.
BENEFITS THAT WE HAVE FOUND!
They say that the first year of wood chip gardening is definitely a learning curve and just let us say that for being such it was by far our very best year yet (and we have had some really good ones)! Here are some things we experienced:
No Where Near as Many Weeds
With our garden being a third of an acre we have never been able to keep up with the weeds. We had tried everything. Burning them, down on our hands and knees pulling… for hours, raking, mowing with the lawn mower, the weed eater, we have tried it all.
No such problem this year! We had almost no weeds at all and what we did have could easily be pulled (they come up much easier too). Towards the end of the season we had some trouble with the morning glory but still not like it has been in past years. Before it could get too out of control the season was over!
Chemical Free and Organic
With some of our health issues added with the research we have found organic gardening is the way we like it! As long as you get your wood chips the way suggested by Paul Gautschi (so the wood hasn’t been treated) it becomes a completely chemical free, organic solution! Plus it’s good for and easy on the environment. When you give to the earth this way it totally gives back to you in a big way.
The Need to Water is Greatly Reduced
We live right up next to a lake and our soil has always been terrible! It is basically like planting in silt. Because of that trying to keep everything watered was pretty much impossible especially in the summer. All we could do was pray that even a little water would make it to the plant’s roots.
We actually found that we over watered! And we didn’t even do that much watering! We did get more rain that we usually do but after the plants were fairly established we stopped watering almost completely.
The Produce is High in Nutrition and Flavor
As a gardener you love to eat the fruits of your labors and honestly it has never tasted this good! We found that everything we brought in to eat was full of juice and flavor. When Paul Gautschi said that would happen in his film we didn’t think much about it but we witnessed it quite firmly. When we were cutting some of our bell peppers, for instance, the juice was streaming down our arms all the way to our elbows! Crazy! The nutrition is incredible too. Poul Gautschi talks about that HERE.
Having had a garden for so many years we kind of liked to think that we were pretty good at it however there has always been a few things we weren’t real good at keeping alive. Usually they have been cold weather crops like peas, broccoli and cabbage. For the first time in years we had an astounding harvest of all our cold weather crops! They were beautiful, large and sweet. Our problem has been that they usually bolt, but not this year! We had cabbage and green beans up until the frost.
Warm weather crops were wonderful too! It was totally a win win situation.
Scarcity of Bugs
We used to have a lot of trouble with earwigs and aphids as well as other plant destroying bugs. We were surprised to find that there weren’t as many! We thought that maybe there would be more but there weren’t.
Before we discovered wood chip gardening we were discouraged and tired. The garden was so full of weeds that we didn’t even want to look out our window because it was just too much work.
This past year was sooo very different that we HAD to share with everyone! For the first time in a long time we have found the garden to be a relaxing place.
We hope this helps you in your garden! We are excited to continue wood chip gardening this year and invite you to do the same! It’s one of the best things we have ever done. Have you found a tip or trick that works well for you? Leave it in the comments below!
Where we Party: