purely newbie question

Upon just a little walking around while tilling, I can see that foot traffic packs down the soil. Is it good to have designated walkways, or pavers or stepping stones or the like to avoid packing soil or stepping on plants?
Steve
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Absolutely! It's a great idea to decide where your beds are going to be and then keep off of them. I do raised wooden beds, just 6" high, 3X6 feet with about two feet between them. Even if you don't use wooden beds, you can still create definite garden spaces by piling your compost & mulch in designated beds. (That's what I did before I got the wooden beds.) You can make them any length, but it'd good to keep them a minimum of four feet across so that you don't have to reach too far to get to the middle of each bed. (I chose 3 feet for this reason.) You can also make them pretty and curvy if you like. You can see my current beds by skipping ahead to about 2:40 on this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPM8UmcGHJM

Put a layer of straw or wood chips where your paths will be. (I used shredded paper one year, and it worked to delineate the beds but was very messy. http://xrl.in/2btw ) Or you could put gravel or stones or anything. --S.
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Keep in mind you'll be getting weeds in your walkways unless you do something that has good coverage; so gravel might work but I would recommend a landscape fabric underlayment! Wood chips - use 2x the amount you think you need, no underlayment unless you use cardboard.
You could also use ANNUAL ryegrass; the stuff winter-kills, and (presumably) crowds out the weed population (a technique that has never worked for me but is recommended by others with more experience than I !). Google green manure and setlle back for some lengthy discussions (it works for the walkways too).
Good luck with your season!
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