Tag: Wild Gardening

The Weekly Eccentric: My Failed Wild Garden Experiment

Or: How I Spotted My Inner Utopian

My wild garden idea is a bust.

The idea was simple and based on U.S. foreign policy over the past 75 years.

There’s a war in every garden: good plants versus weeds. I figured I just needed to let the two battle it out, with me getting involved as little as possible. So, even though I wanted the good plants to win, I’d let them fight the weeds, with me offering help as necessary. . . but not doing the actual fighting.

I’d let the good plants (lettuces, cilantro, basil, mustards, and kale) reach full maturation: sprouting fluffy heads of seeds, which would then float all over the garden like parachuters. Meanwhile, I’d ruthlessly cut down any weed before it produced seeds. I’d keep areas of ground uncovered to receive the vegetable seed parachuters.

Eventually, I figured I’d have a lawn-like spread of good green vegetables, with the weeds choked out.

No mulching. No rows. No spacing. No planting by hand. No buying new seeds every year. No need to harvest seeds every fall (because they’d be reseeding themselves and growing the following spring).

It’d be paradise on my little plot of earth. It was among the best-laid plans.

The Results

It went well at first. In early July, I nodded sagely at the progress. Weeds gone; mustards and kale already gone to seed and releasing parachuters.

I … Read the rest

Wild Gardening Notes

Note One: I need to come up with a better name than “Wild Gardening”

I’m greatly encouraged by my wild garden experimentation.

But I need a different name. “Wild gardening” is already being used, and it generally denotes something different (lots perennials, edible weeds, etc.). That’s not what I’m doing.

My concept: Allow greens to go to seed and blow all over the place. Leave vegetables like tomatoes on the ground to be reabsorbed by nature. Ruthlessly take out weeds before they go to seed. Eventually, the “good” plants will outnumber the weed plants and give me a great harvest every year with little effort.

The initial results are greatly encouraging. As of right now, I have at least 75 volunteer lettuce plants: 30 Jester, 30 Black Seeded Simpson, and 15 Salanova. The volunteers will probably produce about 50 pounds of lettuce, which translates to about $250 of produce . . . .with virtually no effort. I also have more cilantro plants than I can count. And that’s just after my first year in my  new garden that was entirely lawn at the end of 2019.

A few notes:

1. The cilantro thrives in the wild garden. I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes over everything, but that’s alright. People love cilantro and it’s easy to yank out. If I see it crowding my lettuce, the cilantro gets yanked like a weed.

2. I use … Read the rest