Back to Basics – Gardening

Home gardens have become very popular with the cost of food constantly rising. It is a fun, stress relieving hobby that reaps a great reward. This can also be a hobby for the whole family.

There is something so satisfying about cooking a meal with veggies and herbs from your very own garden. Gardens are sustainable, save you money, and can be very versatile. Whether you have a raised garden in your backyard or live on a few acres you can till and work, you can use wood to help build the garden of your dreams. Firewood is perfect for gardening as it can be used in many ways.Trees have been nature’s fertilizer for years.

Fallen limbs, leaves, cones, seeds, and, eventually, trunks help build a rich soil. How can you apply nature’s fertilizer to your garden? Wood chips. Wood chips provide a crucial ingredient to mulch which helps to nourish a garden over time.

The Perfect Spot

Before you start your garden there are a few things you need to do first. Evaluate the space you have. Is your space better for vertical gardening or container gardening? Perhaps you have enough space for a more traditional garden or a larger raised garden. What is the sun availability like in that space? This will help determine which plants will grow best in your space. What will your watering needs look like? Do your plants need a lot of water? Will a hose be ok or should you invest in a rain barrel? Watering needs can affect your budget and are important part of starting a garden. Once you have the answers to these questions, it’s safe to say you can get started.

The Equipment

Once you have picked the perfect spot, you are going to need equipment for your garden. You will need more than your traditional gardening tools. Pots and other containers are a must if you chose container gardening. Chicken wire, rain gutters or even household items, like hanging shoe racks, can be used for vertical gardening. If you are going to do a raised garden, you will need wood to build out your space. Of course, you are going to need nutrient rich soil regardless of the type of garden you chose. Even if you own a few acres, you may want to mix nutrient rich soil as you till your land, at least in the beginning.

The Planting

Once all of the hard prep work is done, it is time for planting! After you plant the seeds, you are going to want to add mulch and that is where our favorite thing comes in, wood. Using some form of wood in your garden is best for fruits and vegetables rather than your flower bed. While you can certainly use wood mulch in your flower bed, it is not best to use wood ash or compost there as the nutrients are geared more toward edible plants.

The Importance of Wood

Wood chips and rotted bits of wood seem to be the most popular and mainly used as mulch, as mentioned earlier. They last a long time and help the soil retain nutrients and water. You can also mix in saw dust. This wood mulch should be piled about two to three inches deep on top of your soil. Not more than that! If you plant seeds shallowly in the soil, the wood mulch will help them get all of the nutrients so your crops can grow bigger and better.

Wood chips are a great product because they are inexpensive, and sometimes even free. They mix well with grass clippings and leaves from your yard (also free!).  Hay is great to mix with wood chips as well which again can be inexpensive or free depending on where you live and the type of land you have. Using wood chip mulch will come at very little cost with a big reward. Not only are you reusing materials in your yard, you’re providing a nutrient rich mulch to help your plants grow to their best potential. That is a win-win.

If you like to compost, wood ash is a great material to add to your mixture. It is a great substitute for lime. Wood ash contains potassium which is vital for crops and helps regulate plant water. You can add wood ash to your compost heap a little at a time. This will help lower the PH level creating the perfect mixture for your crops. Keep in mind that ashes are alkaline and will not mix well with acid loving plants or potatoes. The ashes must be kept dry before they are added to compost. Wood ash should not be used directly on soil. It will keep good bugs away. Wood ash must always be mixed in compost to be most helpful. To learn more about wood ash and its other uses, click here!

Back to Eden

Back to Eden, the number one gardening documentary, is full of wonderful advice on starting an organic, no till garden that will provide a great source of food for your family. “Back to Eden Film shares the story of one man’s lifelong journey, walking with God and learning how to get back to the simple, productive organic gardening methods of sustainable provision that were given to man in the Garden of Eden. The food growing system that has resulted from Paul Gautschi’s incredible experiences has garnered the interest of visitors from around the world. Never, until now, have Paul’s organic gardening methods been documented and shared like this!” Paul Gautschi uses wood mulch in his gardening process and believes it has made all of the difference. His 8-step process to creating a Back to Eden Garden are as follows:


  1. Get Connected to Creation
  2. Get “The Covering”
  3. Apply “The Covering”
  4. Plant Seeds
  5. Nourish Your New Growth
  6. Water
  7. Reap a Bountiful Harvest
  8. Reapply “The Covering”

“The Covering” Gautschi refers to is a combination of  newspaper (bottom layer), compost, wood chips, and manure (top layer). Paul recommends applying a 2-4 inch layer of wood chips depending on what type of garden you are creating. “The Covering” picture below will take you to the Back To Eden website.

You will not be disappointed in this documentary and will feel fully prepared to get your garden started, the natural wood way.

There are many different gardening methods out there but we believe you will be happy with these techniques including our favorite, wood. Gardening can help bring you joy in many ways. You’ll be outside soaking in Vitamin D which helps with mood, as does hard work. You can spend time with your loved ones as you plant your favorite fruits and veggies. Plus the satisfaction of providing a home grown meal for your family. Gardening isn’t just good for your wallet or land, but also good for the soul. Let us know how these techniques workout for you! We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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