"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Layer Cake

There is something so satisfying about tilling the earth.

Kind of like using a mixer in the kitchen for making a cake.  Round and round it goes, churning and mixing and offering up a sweet, soft layer to plant.

I've read pros and cons about tilling and have tried very hard NOT to till.  But we end up doing it each Spring anyway. 
It's just easier. 

Imagine trying to go out and stick a bunch of bean seeds in your lawn.  If we didn't till our inground beds that's what we'd have. 

A lawn. 

Raised beds are best, I guess.  I manage to keep our raised beds fairly weed free with little effort.  But I've found that some summer plants just grow better in the ground. 

So the battle continues each year. 

We'll be heading out later today to plant...Err frost our layer cake. 

Have a great weekend Ya'll!


  1. It's probably been 6-8 years since I've gotten my little tiller out... however... there are some plants I'm struggling with growing. So, please do tell, what plants do you find grow better in the ground than in raised beds?

  2. Hey John,

    Green Beans failed every time I tried them in a raised bed. Squashes and melons would produce, but suffered wilt during the heat. I think the soil is warmer and dries out faster in the raised beds. I plant beans, melons and all squashes in ground along with tomatoes (more room). Green peppers and cucumbers don't seem to care either way. Onions just LOVE raised beds.

    Are you all raised beds? How do you manage the grass?

    1. I have tried all sorts of different systems... double dug, container, raised beds, straw mulch, straw bales... I want to try wood chip mulch next. I do square foot gardening in my raised beds, so the veggies pretty well choke out the grass in the summer. I just have to do a good weeding by hand in the spring before planting. Also, I do have weed block fabric underneath my raised beds.

      I have had no success with beans, squashes, or melons, so I will seriously consider planting them in the ground this year -- if I get around to digging it up.

  3. One woman's layer cake is (in my case) another's mud and poo pie. If we don't get some dry days, it's going to be a late garden. I have all raised beds, since my ground is sandy soil and rocks. I have had great luck raising beans in raised beds, but it may be because of the Mighty Llama Beans. I can't grow a pepper to save my soul, however.

  4. With our starting from scratch on a pasture, we have to till. Well, we had it plowed and tilled with a big ol' farm tractor first, then we are going back and tilling areas as we plant them, to add in manure and such. I agree, tilling makes it easier.


  5. Until this year, I had never heard that tilling was bad for the worms. Shows how much I know. We really are beginner gardeners. I'm going to have to think about the raised bed heat element. I wonder if that's why our green beans don't last that long.

    We are also going to try another one of your tricks. I've been saving up cardboard boxes all winter. There's a stretch of ground that just seems to grow weeds and poison ivy (I've already had it once this spring) so we are going to try putting down cardboard with mulch on top. Have you ever sprayed the ground with vinegar first? I'll do anything to kill that d*** poison ivy!