Back To Eden Gardening Guide For Beginners – 4 Steps To Get Started
If you want to let nature take its course and defies the synthetic and modern way of gardening, then the “Back to Eden” gardening method is for you!
In 2011, the “Back to Eden” method of gardening had made quite a buzz among the gardening enthusiasts around the globe. Paul Gautschi made a meaningful documentary explaining his revolutionary approach to getting back to organic gardening - just like how it was in the garden of Eden.
What Is The Philosophy Behind Eden Gardening?
Back to Eden gardening is, more or less, a version of an organic way of growing crops. The intention is to keep the nature’s way of growing and cultivating plants and crops in contrasts to what is widely practiced nowadays. Moreover, this method does not only promote organic living, but it also offers a practical way of gardening without having to spend too much. Just think about not having to buy commercial, synthetic fertilizers and make use of organic fertilizers instead like animal manure, organic mulch, etc. It is indeed economical!
4 Basic Steps To Get Your “Back To Eden Gardening” Started
There are basically four steps that you need to note for a successful back to Eden gardening project. While every farmer or gardener has their own version, this article has combined the most effective and common steps among these different versions. In a nutshell, you will have to be familiar with these four steps, namely covering, planting, nourishing, and watering.
Unlike the mostly practiced way of heavy tilling of the soil, back to Eden gardening emphasizes the importance of covering. Paul Gautschi said that digging out the weeds is enough to prepare the soil. All you need is to apply covering and let nature takes its course.
- First, call your local newspaper publisher and ask if you can get some of their old newspapers. Get all of these locally to also help in the recycling project in your area.
- Place these newspaper all over the garden bed (the same area where you dig out all weeds).
- After that, you can add some compost or organic matter which is naturally decomposed and turn into a natural fertilizer. This could be dried leaves or worm compost; selected kitchen scraps can also be used as compost.
- Add some wood chips, and lastly, put organic manure on top. These layers of organic materials will serve as your fertilizers. Please note that when using raw wood chips, allow the chips to break down fully before you proceed to the next step.
Now, most beginners would probably take the wrong action in this step. Most novice gardeners would mix the covering, thinking they're making sure the nutrients are divided accordingly. However, mixing the covering would only forfeit the nature’s way. Do not mix the covering; you need to just layer them and allow the rain and the ways to mix them naturally like chickens scratching the top covering etc.
Furthermore, mixing the covering will affect the nitrogen level. This is because if the wood chips are directly in contact with the soil, this will trap the nitrogen in the soil and could potentially affect the quality of your compost. The key here is to avoid tilling or mixing the soil of your garden.
If you covering is already prepared, then it is time to plant the seeds of your preferred crops or vegetables. If you are using raw wood chips, it is best to plant the seeds in the material below this layer, which means you must plant the seeds on the compost layer. Do not cover the seeds with the wood chips right after planting. Wait until the plants have already come up before you surround the wood chips on its base. Furthermore, Paul Gautschi recommended the heirloom and non-GMO type of seeds. However, if you have a seeds company near you, you can ask for their suggestion as to what type of plants grow best in your area. This will save you the hassle of planting the wrong crops.
Nourishment is also important for the pants to grow healthy. While your organic compost and animal manure nourish the soil in your garden bed, there are other tips that you can also incorporate to nourish your plants all throughout. Here are some tips that you can apply:
- Make use of your animal manure to nourish the soil further. You can add a small portion of manure on top of the covering from time to time. This is because, whenever it rains, the rainwater will push the compost in the soil, which will then reduce the thickness of your covering.
- You can also make use of organic blood meal and add it to your garden bed. It is mostly from hogs or cattle as a by-product from the slaughter house. Blood meal is known to raise the nitrogen level and is responsible for the plant's rapid growth and dark green color.
- Make sure to check your plant’s nitrogen level. You can check it through noting the leaves color. Yellow leaves are an indicator of low nitrogen level.
- Again, when adding additional manure and organic blood meal, just layer them on top. Avoid mixing them together with other compost materials.
We all know the importance of watering to the plant’s growth. In back to Eden gardening, watering is only necessary when the compost is dry to touch. This means that when rainfall is common in your area, then watering your garden bed may not that necessary. This is because as part of the nature’s watering system, plants grow in the wild even if no one waters them regularly. Overwatering can also be the cause of your plants dying. Good thing the wood chips that you layered on your garden bed can help regulate the water going into the soil. The wood chips help retain and displace the water in order to regulate the soil moisture.
Back to Eden method of organic gardening is perfect for those homesteaders who want to lead a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. While this method may require a bit of research and effort on your part, the result and the abundance of crops it provides are surely worth it.
Do you want to encourage your friends to give back to Eden gardening method a try? Share this article with them now. Thank you for reading!