Garden Newbie, just trying to figure it out!

February 11, 2013

Gardening…ah, gardening. Where do I start? I grew up eating anything and everything that came out of a box or tube of some sort – no vegetables and very few fruit. My gardening efforts started when we bought a large plot of land in the country. Everyone else gardens in the country, we needed to save money anyway so, why not, right?

The first problem I ran into is that everyone in the country also has a tractor…not so much with us. My mother-in-law bought me The Square-Foot Gardening book for Christmas one year so I figured that was what we needed to do. So we bought the boxes and the mix and started our compost pile. I’ve been composting on and off for five years now and I never have gotten the hang of it. But we tried and when I wasn’t sick with pregnancies, we reaped a modest harvest.

The more I learned about what we should be eating (fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, grains) and how sterile the food we get from the grocery store is becoming (less & less minerals), the more adamant I became that gardening needed to work for us. So, I started delving into gardening blogs (I’ll list some of my favorites at the bottom of the post) and learned quite a bit.

One day, I came across a video called Back to Eden. It is about two hours long and gets ‘stuck’ quite a bit. You can buy it if you like. I have watched it no less than four times now. It makes SO much sense. The basic premise is, look at nature and mimic it. Does God till in order to make things grow? Does he rotate crops? It makes you really think. Subsequently, I watch L2Survive‘s YouTube videos as he talks to Paul at his property.

So, anyway, I watched the video and then decided we needed mulch. Free mulch. I called around and no one was interested in giving me free mulch 😛 I tried for months to just make it happen. Then I realized I was trying to control everything (I’m a bit of a control freak) and prayed for forgiveness and asked God to send us mulch. One day, coming back from the grocery store, I saw some Asplundh trucks parked in the middle of town so I wrote down the information on the side of the truck, came home, and emailed the company. It took a couple of weeks for anyone to get back with me but they eventually did. They were going to be in town for the next month and they ended up dropping off everything from that month.

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When the month was almost up, I got a call from one of the tree-trimming places I had called SIX MONTHS prior, saying they had a load to drop off! The two companies ended up dropping off one of their loads at the same time – when it rains, it pours! We were nothing but delighted. We now have two large mulch mountain ranges at the side of our property that we are chipping away at, little by little. SO THANKFUL!!!

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This fall, we started covering around our 40 blueberry plants that get overrun by weeds every summer. We just finished today. We also covered two apple trees and one peach tree with 6 inches of mulch. Finally, we put down newspaper and then 4 inches of mulch for our first Back to Eden garden this spring. I added some cow manure this January. I am anxiously excited to see what happens this spring! 😀

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My first goal is to feed our family almost exclusively from our garden…maybe buy some fruit from the store until we have more trees to make a proper orchard. My second goal is to set up a garden for the food bank in my town. Whether it is on a property near them or on our property, I do not know. But those are my desires. Who’s with me?!

Let’s feed our families and communities with God’s bounty (as opposed to the processed CRAP (sorry, there is just not another, nicer word for it) at the store)!

*Some of my favorite gardening blogs (keep in mind, they are less active in the winter):,,,,,


4 thoughts on “Garden Newbie, just trying to figure it out!

  1. Janet

    I have much the same story. Just converted our garden plot to BTE method in December. Looking for great things this summer. I love sitting down to a table covered with food we have grown and knowing there are no chemicals present. Blessings on your endeavors.

  2. Laura Wharey

    I saw your facebook link to this and I had read your post last year about trying to find sources of mulch and having to give that plan to God. I was very inspired and curious about the Back to Eden method, however at that time we were busy with the house part of our farm and I let it go. Fast forward 5 months and my fiancee goes out and buys the Back to Eden video and we decide we need to find some mulch, well turns out all of our local tree companies already had other customers they were delivering too and they told us we were down on the list. Needless to say you guys are much further ahead of us in this whole process. The limited amount of mulch we have has gone into covering the extreemly thick clay mud that was exposed when our contractor put in our new septic system this fall. It’s wonderful stuff, mulch, but sadly we probably will not have enough compost or mulch for a spring veggie garden this year. Fingers crossed for a fall/winter garden, and I am excited to hear if you think the BtE method is better and easier and how well it works out for you guys.

    1. newbiegardengirl Post author

      Asplundh always seems to be in around – just keep an eye out! We are still new to it all…but it makes complete sense! There is no tilling or crop rotation or watering in the forest on my property…why should there be in my garden? Paul G. says just walk around your property & try to be aware of cool spots, wet spots, etc. and plant what likes that micro-climate there…so we just put down cardboard, chicken manure, and 8″ of mulch on a spot that forever seems to be wet for our potato patch this spring. I’ll update as our first year progresses. I am optimistic 🙂 and we are planning for chicks next month so i may be coming to you for tips 🙂


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