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Pieces of neighbor's carport are really good for smothering patches of lawn. I was using that for a while. Metal breaks down very slowly though, so it has to be replaced with organic mulch when ready to put in plants.
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"Mycosimian" wrote:

lawn. I was using that for a while. Metal breaks down very slowly though, so it has to be replaced with organic mulch when ready to put in plants.
======== I've never prepared a garden by smothering the sod, I don't see the point, you'd still need to till, remove rocks, till some more, remove more rocks, rake and remove more rocks... so may as well from the gitgo and get it over with rather than waiting and waiting, and waiting... and smothering sod with sheets of metal seems like trick for acomplishing absolutely nothing.... I guess it's a grand idea for a natural procrastinator, for someone who looks for any excuse to put off having to work, for someone who really never intends to have a garden but needs something to point at when they tell folks I'm working on it. LOL
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I tried tilling last year, it was fun but I am having more success with other methods now. I was lucky enough to find an abundant supply of free, well rotted wood chips, so now I just slap some of that down and plant in it.
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wrote:

I tried tilling last year, it was fun but I am having more success with other methods now. I was lucky enough to find an abundant supply of free, well rotted wood chips, so now I just slap some of that down and plant in it.
========= I don't know of any vegetable plants that will grow in wood chips. Well, maybe you're growing orchids, there's good money in vanilla beans.
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I don't have to explain to you how a plant's root system works, but there's soil under them thar mounds. Also, I've been scraping around the bottom of the pile, so I get a bit of sandy topsoil mixed in. It looks very nice. I'm seeing a lot of cool mushrooms this year too. Everything in my garden is an experiment right now.
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Rubbish. Unless you've tried it, you have no idea of how effective it can be or how well it works. When you try it, then you have the experience to make a valid comment, till then.......
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Speaking of authors Hold Notification - Phone The organic method primer update : a practical explanation: the how and why for the beginner and the experienced by Rateaver, Bargyla is awaiting me at the library, oh ye of little faith. At 596 p., [78] p. of plates, it is quite an update.
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- Billy
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I think Ruth Stout and all the other no dig gardeners must have gardened on good soil.
I use mulch and a variety of other means to kill weeds but unless I dig, there is no way in my compacted, water resistant soil, worm deficient that I could ahve any garden without doing some digging. I don't do a double dig but I certainly need to dig where there has only been pasture before.
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In article

Doesn't mulching with lucerne (or other organic mulch) and adding manure bring a gang of worms? I started with clay and now my garden plots are granular and friable from lasagna gardening.
This year will be difficult year, though, because of water rationing.
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Without doing some digging, that would just be cruelty to worms here at the moment because I have to move in worms.
For example: I'm trying to put a bed in an area of lawn, triangular in shape and about 30 ft long, turn 90 degrees and that side is about 20 ft and then the length of the hypotenuse (sp?). In spring I did range of things. Part of it I took the weeds off with a lovley little mattock like tool I have that is made out of the leaf spring from a car (light enough for a woman of my age and strength) and I poke dit a bit with the fork. I then added horse poop, pelleted chook poop, some sheep poop from under the shearing shed, watered it and moved some worms in from the veg garden. Another part of it I covered with newspaper, did the same routine with the manure. Another part I put on an old coir mat and put manure on top of that. I topped the whole lot with straw and rice hulls.
I was out giving it a good checking over just a couple of days ago and the only place where the worms have really thrived is in the section where the weeds were removed. There are a few worms in the rest but not many. Too sodding dry and the soil is still concrete like.

Clay is great stuff. My veg bed is now wonderful but when i first started it was a case of chipping it with a pick and I'd make about a half inch indentation. I'd then water it and go back the next day and do another half inch chip all over with the pick. It took about 10 years to get it into a decent state but my veg area is huge and I'm getting older all the time - sod it.

We have enough water but its a problem to deliver it as it is all gravity fed to the areas where I concentrate - like the veg and the fruit - I'm not quite as interested in teh flowers or the shrubs.
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It sounds like you don't have worms because the beds dry out. Normally, under my compost pile there are tons of worms, but last year I let it dry out and when I went to get some compost, there weren't any worms. You have gravity feed water. Any chance of setting up drip? With organic material and water, I can't imagine why you don't get worms (unless you are sitting on a solid block of limestone but even then, you introduce worms into your beds).
I don't know if it would help, but if you want to email me at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Yeah, there's 37 of us. Scary huh?), and I'll send some pics of my bed preparations.
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wrote:

OMG......the *last* thing anyone wants to see is you preparing for bed!!!!! Gedouttahere
Charlie!
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Guess you never heard that it pays to advertise? If'in ya got it, flaunt it, and few have as much "it" as I do ;O)
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wrote in message

I wouldn't use any kind of paper as a permanent barrier, it would become a do-over every year. For my more visible beds I use heavy weed block fabric covered with a thick layer of pine bark nuggets. All I ever need do is sprinkle more nuggets occasionally.

really doesn't keep weeds down unless it's like a foot thick. In my vegetable garden I use weed block cloth and poke holes for the plants. I use cardboard for the major walkways. I don't concern myself with how my vegetable garden looks, no one else sees it but me... I'm into low maintenance. The cloth is held down with those giant wire staples but also chunks of fire wood, tree branches, and even extra metal fence posts... whatever keeps the cloth from blowing about.
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