Starting a Back to Eden Garden
We frequently get asked how to make a Back to Eden garden. Our typical response is to refer people to the video however sometimes people just want the basic steps without watching the whole video. I highly encourage everyone interested in gardening to watch it but if you just want the basic steps and our suggestions we’ve outlined it below.
1. Gather the supplies
You’ll need find a source for chipped tree branches. Contact your local tree trimming companies and your local power utility provider, often times they outsource crews to remove tree branches from power lines. We’ve had the best luck with our local utility company but everywhere is different. In addition to chipped tree branches you’ll need newspaper, a pitch fork, wheelbarrow and a rake.
2. Select your location
It’s important to select a location that gets plenty of sun. Mark out the area and remove any tenacious weeds. Don’t get crazy about removing everything, you’ll be surprised what a few layers of newspaper and mulch can do for weed problems.
3. Lay down newspaper
Put down about 3 to 5 layers thick of newspaper over the entire area. If their is a slight breeze we highly recommend having a hose handy so you can spray down the sheets of newspaper. You don’t want to be halfway though laying down newspaper just to find them blown away by a gust of wind.
4. Planting soil and compost
If you’re wanting to plant right away you’ll need to put down about 2″ of planting soil or compost. The wood chips will take over a year to break down so we’ve had the best success planting into the compost until the wood chips have decomposed into rich top soil.
5. Mulch with chipped tree branches
Put the chipped tree branches on thick, 5″ to 6″ thick. It will compact down after a few months so error on more than less. You’ll want to repeat this process every other year or so keeping your rich top soil covered.
6. Cover with nitrogen source
Do not, we repeat do not skip this step. Your mostly likely attempting this gardening method because you want a great garden. Put at least 1″ to 2″ of nitrogen rich material such as composted horse or chicken manure. Skipping this step will have your garden growing in slow motion and greatly increasing the amount of time it takes for the wood chips to break down.