WHAT IS BACK TO EDEN GARDENING?
Back to Eden Gardening is the practice of growing plants in a no-dig vegetable garden that utilizes wood chip mulch to conserve water and regenerate soil. Back to Eden Gardening is a regenerative agriculture technique that implements organic gardening principles and is considered one of the best sustainable permaculture methods for growing food. Back to Eden Gardening started because of the documentary film, BACK TO EDEN, featuring American gardener and arborist Paul Gautschi. Paul pioneered a no-dig gardening method that implements wood chip mulch to conserve water and regenerate soil. BACK TO EDEN was Produced and Directed by Dana Richardson & Sarah Zentz and released in 2011. The documentary went viral gaining millions of views and ignited a global gardening movement. Learn more about how to grow a Back to Eden Garden by watching the free documentary BACK TO EDEN.
WHAT IS NO-DIG GARDENING AND NO-TILL GARDENING?
No-dig gardening also called no-till gardening is a non-cultivation method that does not practice tilling the soil. Paul Gautchi is a no-till gardener. However, the no-dig gardening movement has a long history and famous pioneers including Masanobu Fukuoka a Japanese farmer who pioneered "do nothing farming" and Ruth Stout an American gardener who wrote the "Gardening Without Work" and "No Work Garden" book. Masanobu Fukuoka and Ruth Stout used straw as a mulch. Paul Gautschi pioneered the no-dig gardening method that uses wood chips as a mulch.
WHAT IS WOOD CHIP GARDENING?
Wood chip gardening is the practice of covering your vegetable garden and fruit orchard with wood chip mulch. Wood chips will improve your soil and regenerate the natural life in the soil instead of the use of toxic chemicals that deplete the soil and create soil loss. Sign up to get a free delivery of wood chips from your local tree service company.
ARE WOOD CHIPS GOOD FOR SOIL?
Wood chips are good for your soil and good for the environment! Wood chips dramatically reduce watering, weeding, and labor while preventing soil erosion. Wood chips are an organic, biodegradable, carbon based material that decomposes over time transforming your soil into a dark, carbon-rich, compost material. Composted mulch enriches your soil with nutrients which increases the product and quality of your plants and garden.
CAN I USE FRESH WOOD CHIPS IN MY GARDEN?
Fresh wood chips come from a renewable resource -- tree pruning waste! Back to Eden Gardening uses fresh wood chips that are 90% needles, leaves, and branches that have been chipped from tree trimming waste. It is important to understand that the leaves are a source of nitrogen and the branches are a source of carbon. This ratio creates an ideal mulch gardening material when the wood chips have composted. Paul Gautschi has multiple gardens and orchards in which he utilizes both raw, composted, and screened wood chips.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR WOOD CHIPS TO DECOMPOSE?
Wood chips start to decompose immediately and it takes wood chips at least 3 months to decompose. Composted wood chips are chipped tree trimmings that have had time to break down and have composted for at least 3 months. Your wood chips will heat up and decompose quicker in Summer months.
Get free wood chips from ChipDrop a free wood chip delivery service! The free app helps gardeners find free wood chip mulch from local tree pruning companies near their address. The wood chips are free and the delivery is free!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WOOD CHIPS?
Covering your garden landscape with wood chips will improve your soil which is practicing regenerative agriculture. Wood chips are extremely beneficial for soil regeneration which promotes healthy soil and healthy plants. Wood chips are an organic, biodegradable, carbon material that decompose over time transforming your soil into a dark, carbon rich, compost material. Composted mulch enriches your soil with nutrients which increases the product and quality of your plants and garden. Wood chips dramatically reduce watering, weeding, and labor while preventing soil erosion.
WHAT IS REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE?
Regenerative Agriculture is a farming and gardening practice that rebuilds soil and restores soil biodiversity resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle. The Back to Eden Gardening technique is part of the regenerative agriculture movement. Back to Eden Gardening regenerates and revitalizes the soil and the environment. Back to Eden Gardening leads to healthy soil that is capable of producing high quality, high quantity, nutrient-rich food. Back to Eden Gardening will improve your soil leading to a productive garden and farm! Regenerative Agriculture and Back to Eden Gardening are serious solutions to climate change and desertification of the Earth.
No matter if you are a beginner gardener or an experienced gardener, you will find that Back to Eden Gardening is easy one of the easiest methods of gardening with the best results.
What is Back to Eden Gardening?
Back to Eden Gardening is a no-till, regenerative agriculture method and made popular in the documentary Back to Eden featuring Paul Gautschi. This means if you are tilling, using toxic chemicals (chemical herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers), you are not practicing the Back to Eden Gardening method. Back to Eden Gardens respect that every plant, animal, insect, and microorganism has a beneficial purpose and works to achieve balance and sustainability in the soil. You will see amazing results in the fertility and health of your soil! Healthy soil is the essential key to growing vegetables and fruits that taste amazing and have a greater nutritional value. Unlike conventional gardening and traditional farming methods Back to Eden Gardening requires less and less input over time with a higher and higher yield every year.
GARDEN SUPPLIES to Start a Vegetable Garden
Soil, Mulch, and Fertilizer
1. GET MULCH FOR A VEGETABLE GARDEN
Wood chip gardening is the practice of covering your vegetable garden and fruit orchard with wood chip mulch. Wood chips will improve your soil and regenerate the natural life in the soil instead of the use of toxic chemicals that deplete the soil and create soil loss. Back to Eden Gardening uses wood chips that are 90% needles, leaves, and branches that have been chipped from tree trimming waste. It is important to understand that the leaves are a source of nitrogen and the branches are a source of carbon. This ratio creates an ideal mulch gardening material when the wood chips have composted. Paul Gautschi has multiple gardens and orchards in which he utilizes both raw, composted, and screened wood chips. Learn more about the best type of wood chips for your garden by clicking here.
Composted animal manure is a clean, natural fertilizer that can be used in a vegetable garden. Let animal manure compost or you may be planting grass and weed seeds!
If you are going to turn a lawn or weed infested are into garden plot smothering the weed seeds is a must! We recommend that you apply at least 4 sheets of paper that overlap. Then, wet down the newspaper so it adheres to the ground below and doesn't blow away.
When installing a no-till vegetable garden, the number one rule is to always avoid disturbing the soil, mimic the design of nature. How do you prepare the soil? You always add layers of compost, and composted animal manure and cover the soil with mulch. The most commonly used mulch in Back to Eden Gardening is wood chips. However, find whatever resource is local to you. For example, straw is also a popular mulch. There is almost always a FREE option when it comes to Back to Eden Gardening.
1. WHEEL BARREL
If you are a beginner gardener you may feel overwhelmed at thought of moving an entire wood chip pile but moving wood chips is not as hard as you'd think! Using a wheel barrel makes moving wood chips a low stress work out. If you get the help of a few friends of family members you can move a mountain of wood chips in just a few hours. Or take your time, move it little by little! If you live on a larger property or have access to a Front End Loader Tractor this will be a more practical way to cover a large scale garden or small farm.
2. MULCH SHOVEL & MULCH FORK
A mulch shovel and mulch fork make scooping the wood chips easy. Using a regular shovel is very challenging due to the chips and twigs getting stuck or jammed and the scoops not being large enough.
3. GARDEN RAKE
A garden rake allows you to spread the wood chips easily on top of your garden without disturbing the soil. It also helps to make rows when planting!
4. GARDEN HOSE & SPRINKLER
Back to Eden Gardening reduced garden irrigation needs up to 90% ! That is because the mulch layer retains moisture that would otherwise evaporate and the wood chips retain water they release slowly into the soil even after you stopped watering. However, to get your seeds germinated you should water them every day until they germinate! Make sure to use a hose head sprinkler that allows you adjust the setting to a light mist or shower spray. It is a common mistake to loose seeds in the mulch by planting too deeply or watering too heavily and therefore they won't germinate. OPTIONAL: Add a water filter on to your garden hose to reduce chlorine, VOCs, herbicides, and pesticides.
1. GARDEN GLOVES
It is a great idea to invest in garden gloves to protect your hands while maintaining your garden!
2. PH SOIL TEST KIT
How To START a Vegetable Garden
Ideally we recommend starting a Back to Eden Garden in the Fall (September-December), mimicking when nature covers the ground with needles, leaves, and branches. This is beneficial because when you lay down your covering layer of newspaper, compost and wood chips in the fall the organic matter has time to break down with the rain and snow during the winter, giving your soil more time to improve and decomposing the wood chips, leaves, newspaper into composted material.