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?
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:
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.
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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