“Oops! I thought I was helping the plants, but turns out I just stunted their growth” Ethan and I dumped the leaves in our garden and tilled them all it, thinking we were doing our plants a favor. Turns out we were actually making it harder for our plants to thrive!
Our plants were slow growing and pale-yellow. It took a bit of research to find out what was going on. Only to find out our plants we suffering because we tilled in the leaves, but what could we do about it now?
If you find yourself in the same predicament with pale yellow plants that are growing at a very slow rate, don’t lose hope! Grading is a skill you develop not a "green thumb" that you either have or don't have.
There is a great way you can boost the soil nutrients without using harmful chemicals! Ethan and I add fish emulsion into the water when treating plants with low nitrogen. (We also like to give fish emulsion to new transplant young plants, and in compost tea, but I will save that for another blog post!) It takes very little fish emulsion per gallon of water, but it sure does help! You will be able to see that it is helping by the color of your plants. The plants will change from a pale yellow to the deep green that signals health.
A friendly warning, it is a little stinky, but the smell does not stay around for more than a few days. I do ask Ethan not to water the plants with fish emulsion if I know that we are going to have guests over.
A great place to start when installing garden fabric is with the perimeter of the garden (no holes for this strip of fabric). It's important to fabric the perimeter of the garden so you don't have grass seeds or roots getting into your garden. Ethan and I like to have at least two to four feet between our garden and our yard.
Once the perimeter fabric is down, we start putting down one row of fabric at a time inside of our garden (We usually put holes in our fabric before putting it down in our garden). Place the first row of fabric down in your garden and secure the top edge with the fabric stakes. Do this by folding the fabric under and placing a fabric staple through the two layers of fabric.
Make sure to overlap the first row of fabric about two to three inches over top of the edge of the perimeter fabric. It is important to not leave any space between rows for weeds to grow. Stake down tightly the side that is touching the perimeter.
Then lay your roll your second row of fabric out. Pull the first row of fabric tight and then stake the second row to the fabric, overlap three inches. The second row’s top edge will underneath the row that was connecting to your perimeter. See the video for an example and while your at it, here is another quick video.
Continue to overlap each row of fabric all the way to the other side of your garden. Make sure your fabric is tight down to the ground and that you are placing plenty of staples into your fabric along the edges. If wind can grab the fabric, it will rip out some of the staples and then rip the pieces of fabric out of your garden! You don’t want that to happen, so stake it down tight! If your soil is hard, use a mallet or hammer to pound the staples to hold the edges of your fabric.
**If you have wind that commonly comes from one side of your property, considering making that side of fabric the side that is under the other piece of fabric, so the wind has less edges to grip.
Oh, by the way, if you have any questions feel free to send me a message or if you want all the information on how to set up your garden, jump into the A to Z Easy Garden Setup Course. The course walks you through setting up your garden step by step and gives you a lot more details. If you need it cool, if not no biggie.
I grasped a handful of grass and tugged as hard as I could.
My fingers were sore, and I was getting nowhere. Every time I grabbed a handful of grass the top of the grass broke off and left the roots fully intact. I knew the grass would be growing back soon. If I didn't change something it was going to overtake your garden.
I sat back and looked at the garden full of grass and shook my head. Something MUST change. I don't know what, but I do know I'm not going to spray cancer causing chemicals on my food.
it took a few years of trial and error to discover the solution but FINALLY Ethan and I found an organic solution. A solution that helped us to focus on growing the plants instead of focusing on pulling weeds.
The solution? GARDEN FABRIC! Garden fabric has saved us countless hours, even days of weeding. It has saved us from spending extra time watering too. Our plants no longer have to compete against grass or other weeds. So, they are stronger, they are taller, their root system is larger, and they produce better produce!
Sounds too good to be true? It’s not, as long as you buy the high-quality fabric you will see the same results! All fabrics are not made the same, I had multiple friends buy cheap fabric for their garden after visiting our house and hearing us rave about how much the fabric has helped us save time. They did not get the same results. When you buy cheap fabric (fabric that the sun can shine through) it acts as a greenhouse instead of inhibiting weed growth.
For your convenience I have linked the type of fabric that we use in our garden. So, you don’t have to find out the hard way about what cheap fabric does. These fabrics can be laid down in your garden for years and will last multiple seasons as well as save you days of work!
Get ready to experience a garden where you can focus on the plants your growing instead of focusing on pulling weeds! It's a game changer for sure!
Stay tuned for the next blog post titled "How Do You Lay Garden Fabric?"
If you are ready to set up a garden, but need someone to walk you through the steps, my course may be what you’re looking for. Check it out here: Garden Set Up Made Simple!