Starting a new Garden, Organic vs.Chemicals

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My mission in life is to teach people ordinary people how to garden. There is a war among gardeners and food producers on synthetic fertilizers and chemicals versus organic gardening.  I am not going to give you my opinions just facts.  Most people are pretty savvy and can find their way around the internet and there are hundreds of people ready to tell you which side of the fence you should be on.  I am not one of them.  As long as you read the labeling and handle the chemicals the way they were meant to be used and as long as you wear protective clothing including a mask by all means use chemicals responsibly. I only use chemicals as a last resort.  The older and wiser I get I realize proper gardening techniques usually result in healthy plants without the chemicals.  Victory gardeners did not use chemicals they simply weren’t available and they had beautiful bounties of luscious veggies and fruits.

So you want to start a garden in a new spot that has grass or maybe weeds.  There are plenty of sites that will tell you to use herbicides. I can show you an easy way without using chemicals.  So easy you may have seen or heard of this already. Once you find a spot in full sun that is near a water source find an old box break it down so it lays flat.

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Here you see an old staples box.  I want to expand an existing bed to make it larger for next year. Next get leaves, lots and lots spreading them over the cardboard.

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Once the cardboard is completely covered you are almost through.  I will add grass clippings or cornstalks to weigh the cardboard down to prevent it and the leaves from blowing away.  Technically what you have done is limit light exposure.  Light is needed for germination of grass and weeds and without it you will have bare soil.  Have you ever left a Slip and Slide toy out in the sun for a couple od days?  What happens? It kills the grass.  I don’t recommend plastic as it doesn’t decompose like paper. How easy and I bet you are thinking why did I not think of that.

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