• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

First time permaculture garden  RSS feed

 
                                
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I only have a single question currently.. Should I till the grass the very first time? Or should I just dump compost right on top of it and then plant?
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I put in perennials, I simply dig a hole and plant them. I have a few mats made from recycled tires that I put around trees and shrubs. After a few weeks, this will kill or weaken most of the grass right around the plant, and then I can move the mat to another plant. 

Another option is to plant the new plants and use cardboard to mulch around it. 

Some annuals may need to be in tilled ground, but I think that limiting the tilling is best for the soil. When I put in terraces and swales, that involved a lot of disruption, but is a one-time event.
 
Steve Furlong
Posts: 40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you have 6 months, you could cover the ground with cardboard or a few layers of paper, spread compost over that, then cover that in straw. Wait for all the grass to die off, by which time the card or paper will most likely have broken down completely, and get sowin'!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
184
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Personally, I have had success planting directly into mulch and compost placed over the grass.  You'll need a little soil to make planting pockets in the compost.


http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/lasagnagarden.htm
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No need to till.

You don't need to wait 6 months, or even 6 minutes. You can do as Puppies said, and if you want to plant right away, do the following:

-For seeds: Using a trowel or your hands; dig a 1-2 inch wide trench all the way to the cardboard, and then make a cut in the cardboard to allow your seedlings roots to penetrate

-Or you could try pre-slicing the cardboard before you bury it in compost and mulch, and planting your seeds in the compost, above where the cuts were made. \

-For transplants: do a sheet mulch,  pre- cut X's in the cardboard about 4 inches long at even spacing. Plant your transplants above the area where the X's are. It doesn't have to be bang on, just within a few inches. The roots will find their way through the cardboard.

**Unless you are piling more than 6 inches of heigh of compost on top and/or your existing soil is so loose you can plunge into it down to your wrist;  I'd stay away from root crops in the first year, unless you want to plant them as companions, to do a deep tilling for you. You still may end up with a harvestable root crop but don't count on it. I've seen this succeed, and I've seen it fail. Radish or baby carrot varieties, or even parsnips might work.
 
                                
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for all your help everyone.

Ludi wrote:
Personally, I have had success planting directly into mulch and compost placed over the grass.  You'll need a little soil to make planting pockets in the compost.


http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/lasagnagarden.htm


Can you tell me about this a little more? Is the soil completely necessary, or can I plant directly into the compost? I covered a 2000 sq ft area of grass with about 18 cy of compost. I will be planting after the winter.

Travis, why should I avoid the root crops if the soil is really hard underneath the compost? I think I would want them for the deep tilling the first couple years.


Also, when is transplanting appropriate and when should I seed directly to ground?
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
184
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I always put a little soil in the place where I will plant seeds.  If the compost is completely composted this might not be necessary.  So if you're planting in the Spring you should be fine. 
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Watch out for grasses with rhizomes (wirey white roots that wander around a couple inches below the soil).  They survive sheet mulching, and thrive following, creating annoying competition if you are trying to get to a low maintenance instensive production.
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
icboy88 wrote:
Thanks for all your help everyone.

Travis, why should I avoid the root crops if the soil is really hard underneath the compost? I think I would want them for the deep tilling the first couple years.

Also, when is transplanting appropriate and when should I seed directly to ground?


I meant that you should avoid them because if you're trying for long carrots, or big turnips, you might be disappointed with the harvest. Carrots may come out spindly and stubby, and turnips may not develope much of a root. A few thrown in here and there for tilling purposes would be worth the space, and you can probably eat the greens at least. Even carrot greens are edible. Just dont eat too much.

If you've made big enough holes and backfilled them with soil and/or compost/manure, you can plant as soon as is recommended on the seed packet.
 
Do not set lab on fire. Or this tiny ad:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!