2013 was a banner year for my 500-square-foot urban vegetable garden, including my first experience growing and processing a grain. I never got around to posting about it last year-- so here it is.
Interbay mulch technique
|The bed on the right has been mulched with leaves, spent coffee |
grounds, and burlap sacks ($1/sack at the local hardware store).
The beds on the left were planted with a rye-clover-vetch-pea
cover crop. Paths are mulched with wood chips.
When I pulled back the burlap last spring, I was initially disappointed. The coffee grounds had disappeared completely, but there was still a lot of leaf matter left on the soil, indicating that it had only partially composted. However, I later decided that it had worked well, because the soil structure underneath was improved and it seemed to be enriched with significant organic matter as well as a large population of fat earthworms. The mulch suppressed weeds remarkably well, and the beds remained mostly clean for the rest of the season.
Those observations, combined with huge yields from the mulched beds, convinced me that it was worthwhile.