There are many easy gardens or Lazy Man’s Garden ideas. Due to the fact I usually have several garden I have tried most of these techniques. I also like to experiment because you never know where this idea will lead.
photo credit: Sbocaj
There is a garden style often called “The lazy Man’s Garden”
I have used this for several gardens in the past. I am not sure I would call it a lazy mans garden myself. The advantage of this garden is if you have trouble getting a garden tilled or are working with challenging soil this is a good plan. It’s also an organic way to grow, based on not disturbing the soil and using very little no no chemicals.
I first read about this gardening technique in a book from the library. A 90-year old lady who still loved to garden but did not have a way to till the ground and digging was hard on her back started using hay or straw to plant in. What she did was cover the ground in the fall with about a foot of hay to kill the grass. In the spring she added some more fresh hay and let it sit for a week or two. Then she would pull back the hay and plant her seeds. It is recommended using this method to use seedlings. They don’t have to compete with the hay and will grow quicker. I have found this to be true!
She would plant one section at a time until the garden was complete. With the hay in place she could work at her own pace and even plant later crops.
I have used this method if I put in a garden late or am working with soil that I know needs a lot of added mulch and nutrients. One thing I have found is that I do not use hay! Hay brings in more seed heads and may spread weeds into your yard. It also can bring in mice that are attracted to the seeds.
I recommend straw. It’s a little more expensive but there are hardly any seeds in straw. Also if you figure the price of tilling and straw they are probably the same.
The advantages of the Lazy Mans Garden is that there is no digging and that your soil stays moist so there is less watering. One other advantage is that as the season goes on the straw breaks down and adds to the soil. This is good if you have a heavy clay soil base like I do.
At the end of the season when the straw is breaking down, I add mowed leaves and more straw and let it sit over the winter. If you want to break down the straw more cover the garden with black plastic and weigh it down with rocks or boards so that it will not blow off.
By the next year when you pull the straw back you will have a rich soil base to plant in and will also notice a lot or worms which is a very good sign of rich soil. If you do this several years you will have a very healthy soil base to plant in.
photo credit: greengardenvienna
The only disadvantages I see to this garden is bringing in the straw to cover the garden and using more seedlings. That means you either start more yourself or buy them.
Another disadvantage: corn tends to topple over more in a straw garden so what I do is have one area of the garden where I pull back a lot of the straw and plant the corn there. The straw I removed goes in a compost bin and get recycled into rich moist compost.
The Lazy Man’s Garden resembles the Lasagna Gardening method. The difference between then is that lasagna gardening uses layers of materials that actually break down and improve the soil at a faster rate.