Instant garden success!

Yay for instant gardens!  No tilling, no gas to buy, all materials are free or cheap,  and weeding is down 90%!!!

I got this idea from Geoff Lawton, he posted this quick video on how to create an instant garden on YouTube here .  What’s really cool is he uses what looks like garbage to lay over the existing grass to smother weeds out as well as retain moisture( paper products are biodegradable and just turn right back into dirt)

Here are some sources of organic material that you can layer in your own backyard growing space:

  • Grass clippings
  • Straw
  • Composted chicken manure/bedding
  • Leaves
  • Composted or “old” horse or cow manure
  • Free tree trimmings from your local tree service (leaves and wood, not only wood)
  • Newspaper
  • Pizza boxes/cardboard/cartons and boxes of any sort

Now, if you have a grassy lawn, just start laying down paper.  If you’re working in an old field like us, you may need to remove woody growth first.  We had blackberries taking over.


We went to the neighbors burn pile and got the pizza boxes (yes we have burn piles and barrels in these parts), and the large cardboard came from a dumpster on one of Donnie’s tile jobs.  The one we did before was made solely with junk mail and old phone book pages ripped out!  So much fun using that….

We had several buckets of horse manure mixed with shavings from the stables (free!).  It was old and had composted to become a rich, black dirt.


I did some mowing while Donnie did thorn removal!  Getting ready to gather the grass clippings to cover the top…

This is a final shot of the one next to it, I forgot to shoot the big one we did today……


Today is the first of March and we are hoping to have the seedlings transplanted into this area within a few weeks.

If you want to sow seeds directly into a bed such as this you will need to add a layer of finer soil to the top so that the tiny seeds will have a place to germinate.  This method is for planting young plants, and remember you will need to poke out the cardboard to put the plant deep.

We’ll see how this goes, it is very exciting to see all the available areas to plant things, and not see weeds anywhere.   As time goes on we will continue covering the areas to smother out new weeds that may pop out.  Creating soil instead of diminishing it….and no need to fertilize!   Watch this free movie/documentary to see all the benefits of growing by covering your garden instead of tilling it……

Leave a comment if you like this post, or post a suggestion!!

Happy gardening!!






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