Thursday, July 12, 2012

The first 3 years of failure

For the first 3 years my heavy clay garden has been pretty much a failure.

The 1st year I cleared away the Juniper trees, dug beds while mixing in some pine needles and just a few branches.

This "hugelkultur lite" approach didn't work well. Garden did poorly but with some harvest.

2nd year, under the inspiration of "One Straw Revolution" I just planted as is, no new digging. Big failure, no harvest except pole beans.

3rd year, I planted cover crops for the winter and hoped again to give no-till a chance. Planted vegetables directly amongst cereal rye cover crops. Another big failure. The soil was too compact and without a good mulch the soil became hard.  The drip irrigation only kept the soil wet about 3-4" away from each emitter, not enough for the plants.

4th year, success finally using hugelkultur.

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