I love having plenty of time to prepare the land with minimal disturbance. That is not always an option though if you are just getting out to an overgrown garden or starting where someone left off (a long time ago).
This is how I am tackling a recent piece of acquired space.
How to Reclaim an Overgrown Garden
In this video, I am preparing the beds and paths before the warm temperatures bring a jungle to life. To set the stage, this plot was abandoned and had many beds lined with various decaying boarders. There is no running water to the site and the tools are very limited (I ended up buying some garden scissors). I also decided to try to use what I already have on hand to do the garden on a budget.
There are many ways to start a garden from scratch or reclaim your beds. I would have loved to cover the are to kill back the grasses (about 1 month depending on conditions) and then to come in with minerals, compost, a broadfork, and mulch.
My budget and time-sensitive approach was to chop and drop the grass and collect the excess for composting, then work the grass roots loose with a garden claw, and finally use a rake to work the grass over and cover it. While working the ground, I added minerals and compost. To cover the soil and reduce the grass regrowing, I topped the beds with shredded leaves. Everything got watered in with a diluted blend of liquid kelp and molasses. This would be a nice time to add compost tea or an indigenous microorganism brew.
The paths got partially composted woodchips to help with grass as well.
This portion of the garden creation took 6 hours with two people over two days. Time will vary on the distance between your garden area and materials.
Check it out and keep an eye out for next week’s garden update as I plan the garden and plant early crops.