How To Plant a No-Till Garden {& Have a LOT Less Weeds!}

Do you spend hours (and hours...) every spring and summer weeding your vegetable garden? Do you have a hard time finding the sprouted seedlings for all the weeds? Have you ever thrown your hands up in defeat around August and give the garden over to the weeds?
Well, not me! I've grown our food crops using a no-till method for more than 10 years and I'm here to encourage you that you absolutely do NOT have to spend more time weeding your vegetable patch than planting and harvesting (and your kids don't either, ha!).
Planting a bed without tilling is also way easier than wielding a big machine and it's a cornerstone of our organic garden philosophy where we take care of the soil, disturbing it as little as possible while using a layering system to keep our garden beds nearly weed-free throughout the gardening season. Here's how we do it.
In February, our beds can look like this (though the more years we do this, the less weeds we have even at the end of winter), full of annual weeds, a few perennial weeds like dandelions and debris.
So we cover the whole bed with black plastic and let the solar heat kill the weeds for the next few months before planting. Depending on your climate, the weeds might be killed in just a month - ours usually needs a couple months.
When it's time to plant, we pull off the plastic (which I keep in large garbage pails to reuse each year - and keep from the mice!), rake up the dead weeds and debris and pull any perennial weeds that may regrow - just to be sure.
Then we simply spread a 1/2" to 1" layer of garden compost (we purchase a truckload of a compost-manure blend) over the entire bed. We lay soaker hoses next - this ensures that the water is only going to the plant and not any weed seeds in between plants. After that, all that's left to do is to plant, harvest, and pull an occasional weed here and there - honest! I try to tell as many people I can about this, 'cause I hate to see people give up gardening because of the weeds. :)
Chime in if you plant the no-till way - and if you have any tips, too!
Check out the article below for more information and you can visit my blog to see more of our garden!

Jami @ An Oregon Cottage
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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