Nicompoop and the Lazy Man's Organic Garden

plainting a maintenance-free organic garden
Mom and I in the garden

A few months ago, a reader asked me if I had a garden.  The answer was yes, but it wasn't until this spring that we decided to get really serious about it.  The truth is, while I love the planting and the harvesting of the garden, I hate the patience and the weeding in between.   You could call me a lazy gardener.  But, what I'm beginning to hate more is the blah taste of supermarket vegetables and the cost of organic produce.

Gardening is not new to me.  As a child I remember playing in my dad's gardens, eating sweet peas as I toddled along.  These days I'm lucky enough to have him start some of my tomato plants from seed.  Deep down inside, I know I inherited dad's farmer genes (and I just bought my first pair of rubber boots...that qualifies me right?)... AND it turns out my husband has some Greek farmer in him too.  Naturally, it was time to expand our organic garden.

plainting a maintenance-free organic garden
One product that made that decision easier was Nicompoop.  It's a weed-resistant, organic mulch, that attracts worms, repels slugs, keeps the weeds at bay, retains moisture, feeds the garden and amends your soil while you slumber and sleep (my kind of garden work).

We've been using this product for three years now and our tomato plants get so HUGE they eventually need our patio chairs to rest on.

This year we wanted more tomatoes and peppers, AND a bigger variety of vegetables, so we reclaimed prime garden real estate.  While our flower bed was nice, it occupied the sunniest spot of all.  We ripped out some of the flowers and kept just a few, like the peonies that bloom in early spring.

plainting a maintenance-free organic garden
Next, we extended the garden down the hill, and dug all the way to the back of the yard.

Since the sun gradually diminishes, we put the "root" vegetable garden in the shadiest spot.  We added trellises all along the fence, weeded and tilled the soil, and spread out 2 cubic yards of Nicompoop.

In case you're wondering, that's a lot of poop!

plainting a maintenance-free organic garden
Because the tomato cages just don't work, AND because we'd like to use our patio chairs this year, my husband built tomato trellises out of cheap cattle fencing and posts.

We also added chicken wire around the new "root vegetable" garden and reinforced the holes in the old "Vitamix" garden (which was fast becoming the cute, yet ironic, local rabbit hangout).

plainting a maintenance-free organic garden
Once we figured out where all the plants would go, my husband installed 150 feet of weeping hoses.  I can't believe I argued against this.  He was right (don't tell him).  Those hoses are awesome!!!  The results:

  • In the "Sun Garden" we planted a total of 15 heirloom tomatoes (including dad's tomatoes), 17 peppers (jalapeno, red and sweet banana pepper), cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, nasturtiums, sunflowers, dill, cilantro and more peas.  
  • In the "Vitamix Garden" I planted 3 varieties of kale, collard greens, spinach, leeks, peas, cabbage and parsley.  
  • The "Root Vegetable Garden" has beets, carrots, green onions, more leeks, and green beans, basil and more parsley (Oops).
  • My husband also secretly planted corn.  I found the evidence, but I don't know the location yet.

plainting a maintenance-free organic garden
The shady "Root Vegetable" garden...will anything grow?

With the Nicompoop and the weeping hoses, our garden is now virtually maintenance-free.  Besides a bit of creative composting (that's for another post), all I have to do now is wait patiently until August!  What are your tricks and tips ... for gardens and for patience?

plainting a maintenance-free organic garden
The Vitamix garden....seeds planted...ready to grow.

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