I peek at other gardeners occasionally to see what they are up to these days. I came across an interesting idea for a block of garden that claimed to take all the work out of weeding! This seemed too good to be true, so I investigated the rumor.
The gardener re-used a pallet to make the garden space. It was a simple idea of filling the pallet with soil and planting vegetables between the slats (strips of wood on the top of the pallet). The slats divided the pallet into rows, creating a barrier for weed germination and growth. With less of the soil in direct contact with the air, less water would be needed to keep soil moist.
The only tools I used on this project were a pair of scissors, a small shovel, and a staple gun.
Two weeks ago, I found a pallet with fairly uniform slats that had about two inches of gap between each slat. I used landscaping fabric that can be found anywhere plants are sold. I laid the pallet on top of the fabric to determine the cutting lines. While the pallet was laying on the fabric, I cut around the edges adding two to three inches on all sides. This left enough fabric to fold up the sides before stapling. For those without a staple gun, thumbtacks would also work for this project.
I stapled the fabric all the way around the pallet. Since my cutting was not measured, it was not exact. No problem, I just folded the fabric in along the pallet in those spots where it was too long and stapled it anyway. It made the edge nice and straight. On the two open edges of the pallet, I had enough fabric to not only pull over the open edge of the pallet, but covered the first slat, just for the heck of it.
I filled the pallet with soil and watered it with a couple gallons of rain water that I collected during the week.
Next, I planted a mixture of greens, one variety in each row and labeled the rows. A tarp was put over the pallet to incubate the seeds while they germinated. Deciding what to plant was the hardest part of the whole project. Any root crop was out because there would not be enough soil for root to grow effectively. Like wise with any larger, busy fruit, this is a small space garden. I decided to use this area for salad greens. The pallet is set up near the house so that harvesting will only be a few steps from the kitchen.
Today I took off the tarp and my greens are just starting to emerge.
Just for decoration I set my two planters on the larger end slats (they also held the tarp in place during germination). These planters have been producing lettuce since January and look puny right now because I had just harvested them for the third time last week.
I will update this post as my new twist on gardening develops.