Way back in May I shared that I made a sandwich garden, which is a technique you can use to make an excellent garden anywhere, no matter what the soil is like where you live. You can read about how to make it here. I came across this technique in a book by Janet Luke called Green Urban Living (buy this book, she’s a genius) but watching this movie called Back to Eden really clinched the deal. I highly recommend watching the documentary, which follows Paul, who grew up in a market gardening household. After years of back-breaking work he thought, ‘Surely there must be an easier way?’ By observing nature he creates a low-maintenance and bountiful garden. The film is very Christian, but even if that’s not your thing, you will still learn a LOT from this inspiring documentary.
I made this garden really frugally – it cost me $13 at the time. When we purchased our house, it came with a veggie garden already, but the garden was put in a really dumb spot. The original garden was put right in a corner that sits in shadow for most of the day. I put my new sandwich-technique garden in a much sunnier spot, planted some seedlings, and waited.
I am delighted to say that the technique is a winner!
With very little effort, my garden has produced some great-looking veg. As the technique produces a very light and spongey soil, weeding it is a dream. The weeds usually come out cleanly with their roots still attached. We use arborist mulch to keep the weeds down, and that is working well. Weeds are unavoidable (unless your neighbours decide to keep their places weed-free), but I’ve definitely noticed that the mulch has greatly decreased the amount of weeding I need to do.
Just for kicks, I planted some leeks in the original garden at the same time as I planted leeks in the new garden.
And here are the leeks in the old garden…
No comparison eh. Sandwich garden for the win!
If you’ve never had much success growing veggies, or you live some where the soil is problematic, or you are interested in permaculture give this technique a go. It really works.