Organic gardening – The Lazy Man’s Garden Technique

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. Garden Fresh Veggies
Creative Commons License 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.2004- The Farm in Summer
Creative Commons License 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.

Spread the love






11 responses to “Organic gardening – The Lazy Man’s Garden Technique”

  1. sally

    I have used the straw method and it works well. It saves strain on the back and is so much easier to get ready in the spring. Sally

  2. Diana

    I have clay sandy ground where I live, and I can’t seem
    to get my garden to grow very well. I will be trying the straw
    method. And I like the fact that this will be alot easier on my back. Thanks for the information. Diana

  3. admin

    I also have a heavy clay/rock base in my soil. By adding straw I can turn the soil into real growing soil in a few years with little work.

    I also plant a lot in bushel baskets. One reason is that its easy on the back! Denise

  4. Denise

    Hi Paige.

    The biggest suggestion I can give you to cut back on bugs is to keep your plants healthy. Insects and bugs are attracted to sickly plants. So water, good soil, and removing any dead leaves or unhealthy plants will help a lot.

    Enjoy your new garden area and good luck! Denise

  5. paige

    Denise ; thanks do you think the straw is the way to go am so happy you answer thank you again i am so happy about getting started not sure really were to beging.but am going to get what i need over the week end. thanks again. paige

  6. peanut

    hey paige, what kind of veggies are u thinking bout growing? id love to grow my own too, but i have no yard, just a small lawn area……..any suggestions for me as to what i could grow in a small area?

  7. Denise

    Hey peanut,

    How big is your growing area? With square foot gardening techniques (intensive gardening) you can grow a lot. Growing vertically will also give you more growing room plus its a fun look! Denise

  8. peanut

    i still havent decided what to do, im thinking with my space problem, mabey ill just try a nice little herb garden………….any suggestions as to what herbs would grow best? also i am considering container gardening, for some cherry tomatoes…………what else can u grow in a container? im such a dunce,lol

  9. Hey Peanut, How much space do you have and how many hours of sunlight do you get? I consider it a challenge to get a good garden in a small spot 😉 balconies, patios, windowsill and 2 foot by 2 foot spot…it can be done!

    This article Vertical growing I did the other day might give you a few ideas:

    Herbs are also wonderful plants and fairly easy to grow. They do well indoors and in containers. Container gardening is great.

    And you can grow almost anything in a hanging basket. I have grown tomatoes, cukes, beans, etc…. My favorite is to grow a tomato plant from the bottom of the hanging basket, and growing other veggies and flowers on top. Looks stunning and its great to have tomatoes close by.

    Denise’s last blog post..Vertical No Dig garden for the Small Space Garden

  10. That’s a great way to start a garden. If I remember right, I think I read that you can do that using leaves as well if you have a thick enough pile. I don’t know if it works better or worse than straw, but it should soften the ground enough.
    .-= Gavin´s last blog ..Vertical Gardens from Green Over Grey =-.

  11. Denise

    I use leaves more in the perennial garden or a garden that needs a lot of work. I also add straw on top of the leaves. It helps the leaves to break down faster.

    Leaves add wonderful nutrients to the garden areas but also tend to use nitrogen from the soil so the soil will need checked for balance the following growing season.

    Thanks for stopping by. Denise

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *