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Moist Mulch

Garden Mulch Shidonna Raven

When we began our Organic Gardening Journey one of the most essential books we read was “The New Organic Gardener” by Eliot Coleman. One of the key things we learned from this book was the importance of mulch along with its many benefits:

  1. Retains Moisture
  2. Dark colored mulch increases the benefits of the sun for plants
  3. Prevents weeds from growing

We are almost finished mulching our garden. We wanted to wait until all the plants had sprouted. For the most part what is going to sprout at this time has sprouted. Some seeds never sprouted for varies reasons. We choose to go with a black mulch to maximize the sunlight benefits. Although, it is so hot this summer (in Norfolk, VA, USA), we hardly think we need to intensify the benefits. It is great for watering with the sprinkler system. Instead of water pooling and slowly seeping into the ground, the water is managed by the mulch. It slowly releases the water into the ground without pooling.

Most people have never heard of using mulch in a garden. Many have used dark colored plastic to cover the soil and discourage weeds while promoting growth. What are some Organic gardening techniques you are aware of? Do you use any of these techniques for your house plants? How else do you use these techniques?

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Eliot Coleman – The New Organic Grower

Eliot Coleman the new organic grower shidonna raven

Start something new and you will discover just how much you do not know. This was true for us when we started our Organic Garden. We knew the basics that we learned in science class at school but that was about it. Well we had learned somethings along the way and knew enough to be dangerous. So, we decided to start at the library for our research. We have found the library to be a wonderful resource and wealth of information as they always are. We were tremendously lucky to have come across this book: The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman. We not only found Eliot Coleman to be talented and successful at gardening and farming, he is a thoughtful and highly researched student of the discipline and a Master at his craft. He deals in paradigms and concepts as well as detailed applications of his craft. He is someone we definitely hope to meet one day.

Sharon weeding in the garden
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

As we stated, we had much room to grow in the gardening department when it came to learning. The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman answered many questions for us as people very interested but knew to organic gardening. He helped dispel myths and common misunderstandings. He gave us a practical and authentic definition of what organic really means. It is one thing to preach organics and something different entirely to live it. Eliot not only practiced what he preaches he helped us implement it in our own garden with some practical and realistic things we could do in a garden of our size. I have referred to many of Eliot Coleman’s suggestions in his book and shared them with you. Because we think they are that valuable. He introduced us to Soil Blocks and so far they have been a tremendous game changer for our garden and disease prevention. This book has by far been the most valuable book we checked out of the library and most valuable resource we have found on our organic journey thus far.

What have you found to be the most valuable resource for you thus far? How has this helped you become a better consumer of food not just gardener? Do you have an organic resource that has been helpful to you? Share it with us by leaving a comment and sending us pictures. As always you are the best part of what we do.

The Garden before we Broke Ground
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook