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No-Dig Straw Mulch Gardening- Ruth Stout Video Series

Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
Here is a link to the first of three youtube videos on Ruth Stouts method of gardening. Apologies if this video has been posted before, I did a search but it didnt come up and I think its of value to the group. She is an inspiring spitfire.



http://www.greenshireecofarms.com
Zone 5a in Central Ontario, Canada
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
Did you know Travis, Ruth would garden in the nude?
Maybe it was just top-less . . . .  anyway she was a character that's for sure.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14950
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I thought we had the ruth stout video links here before, but I can't seem to find them.  If nothing else, it seems proper that ruth stout gets her own thread here.

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suomi--Nicola Lloyd


Joined: Aug 19, 2009
Posts: 48
Location: Finland
Thanks for posting Ruth Stout, what an amazing woman
not only are her views on gardening interesting but also the insight into her family life.
It is so refreshing to hear someone that  "thinks for themsef"  not allways following the crowd!
Love it!
suomi.
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
We did have so cool links to Ruth video, but I didn't find them either. 

I love Ruth's attitude, she was not going to be fussy about growing food, I'm with her!
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
a neighbor of our use to garden topless..she was in her 80's or 90's at the time.


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
I wonder if she has much problem with the wind blowing the straw all around. I know that happens when I've tried mulching with leaves in some situations.
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
It should be mentioned that Ruth's methods do not work in many climates.  They worked so well for her because of the climate she lived in.  I can't pull it off exactly like she did here in western Oregon for example.

You need cold winters - to kill off bugs that would call the hay a home.
You need very hot summers - to make the straw decompose and feed the soil.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

There is lots of rain and snow in Minnesota which helps to keep things in their place.  Also, she would put the hay down in sections sometimes which helped too.

Leaves will blow if left in there natural state.  The city collects, shreds and packs the leaves a bit before dumping in my yard.  This is in the fall and with the rain those leaves do not move, no matter the storm or wind - and they are in the path of the wind.  By the time summer comes and the rain stops they are soil inside that pile and packed leaves on the outside, and they still don't move.  I have to say I think its the shredding and wetting that does the trick.

Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
I've read Western Oregon is more suited to a dust mulch, as detailed in Waterwise Gardening.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Aljaz Plankl


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 310
    
    4
Ruth is great.

Travis, both leaves and hay need rain or watering the first time and it's no problem. I've just mulched a garden bed with leaves today (windy day! lol, what a time did i pick) and all i needed was a bit of watering on top. I have also covered compost pile with leaves in past and they did not move once they got wet - also a good protection so the pile doesn't get to wet.
                          


Joined: Mar 11, 2010
Posts: 40
Location: Portland Oregon
This is a wonderful video.  Thanks for posting it. 
As for the gardening techniques; I love'em. Just last fall I covered my veggie beds with either straw or planted crimson clover.  And a couple of weeks ago I planted peas by just pulling back the straw and dropping seeds into trenches I made with my finger.  I did not know I at the time I was doing it the "Ruth" way!

I'm not sure if I can get myself to give up digging compost and leaves into the beds in the fall, it's just so satisfiying somehow.

And gardening in the nude, just not going to happen.
Hank


Do not go gentle into that good night,
rage, rage against the dying of the light
Travis Philp
volunteer

Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 951
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
    
    8
I did water the leaves right after dropping them but most of them ended up finding their way into the adjacent paths. I should mention that the beds I mulched were about 6-8 inches high and though there is an adjacent shed blocking most of the wind the garden is on a windy lakefront property about 200 feet from the shore. I haven't shredded them though as I have no means to except to maybe run them over with the lawn mower.

I've noticed though that the garlic stalks I used as mulch in that spot have stayed put, and so have most of the 'weeds' I've used as mulch.

Now that I think of it, any time I've used straw mulch it has stayed put, except when the chickens scratch it up.
                              


Joined: Apr 02, 2010
Posts: 12
cool, thanks for posting this
                          


Joined: Mar 11, 2010
Posts: 40
Location: Portland Oregon
Update on the planting of peas.......slugs love'em.  And haveing a straw covered home to live in while eating my new pea plants, well, it's a slugs idea of heaven. 
So, after giving the slugs a serious talking to about how we all need to just get along, I used a trick my mother in law told me about.  Surrounding the peas with used coffee grounds.  She claims the coffee grounds will repel the slugs. 

We will see.
Hank
                                  


Joined: Mar 22, 2010
Posts: 18
Hank wrote:
Update on the planting of peas.......slugs love'em.  And haveing a straw covered home to live in while eating my new pea plants, well, it's a slugs idea of heaven. 


According to Jeff Lawton, you are experiencing a duck deficiency! 
gary gregory


Joined: Apr 09, 2009
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
Thanks for posting the video link.  I found the last sentence of the third video quite moving.


Gary
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 969
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
sevenseeker wrote:
According to Jeff Lawton, you are experiencing a duck deficiency! 


Ah, yes, but ducks will also eat young plants that are just coming up, so be careful about how you apply that remedy! 

Slugs are probably the primary reason that heavy mulch isn't the best method to use West of the Cascades.  Here on the East side of the Mountains, mulch is a big help.  But it will certainly have to be watered regularly, since we don't get any rain to speak of during the summer.

Kathleen
                          


Joined: Mar 11, 2010
Posts: 40
Location: Portland Oregon
you are experiencing a duck deficiency!

I love it.
                            


Joined: Apr 21, 2010
Posts: 32
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Okay, I'm a newbie on the West Coast (Vancouver Island), and I'm struggling with exactly this mulch problem.  What is the answer on the mild winter coast?  I mulched with straw sheet-mulched beds in the winter a la Ruth Stout, then read Steve Solomon's slug advisory in January, and so pulled most of it off to plant my peas in March.  Now I've got some nibbled peas that are surviving ok, but I'm losing water etc because I have only a scattering of mulch!  Is there a magic mulch for the coast that I should know about? 

Thanks!  (And nice to be here)
Rosie
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 969
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
Rosie wrote:
Okay, I'm a newbie on the West Coast (Vancouver Island), and I'm struggling with exactly this mulch problem.  What is the answer on the mild winter coast?  I mulched with straw sheet-mulched beds in the winter a la Ruth Stout, then read Steve Solomon's slug advisory in January, and so pulled most of it off to plant my peas in March.  Now I've got some nibbled peas that are surviving ok, but I'm losing water etc because I have only a scattering of mulch!  Is there a magic mulch for the coast that I should know about? 

Thanks!  (And nice to be here)
Rosie


Welcome!

Yes, the dust mulch that I think was mentioned somewhere up above.  Have you read any of Steve Solomon's books (he started Territorial Seed Company)?  I'm in the middle of Gardening When It Counts, which he wrote.  You'll have to add organic matter to the soil, of course, but then keep the surface cleared off with a hoe (and space your plants a bit wider to make room for the hoe to get in -- there'll be less water stress on the plants that way, too). 

Ducks ARE a good option for slug control, but only with supervision, and not around young plants or ripe strawberries, LOL!

Kathleen

ETA:  When I was in high school, we were living on the Oregon Coast, in the Coast Range a bit.  We went somewhere for a couple of days, and when we came home, Mom discovered that one whole row and almost another whole row of bean plants had been eaten to the ground.  These were close to a foot tall.  She examined the remaining plants, and found a huge slug munching away.  It had eaten approximately thirty feet of bean row all by itself in that short time.  So don't underestimate the damage they can do!  (The slug didn't survive very long, LOL!)
                            


Joined: Apr 21, 2010
Posts: 32
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Thanks Kathleen,
Gardening West of the Cascades is one  of my bibles, but there are contradictions between it and Gaia's Garden, so I have a few dilemmas like these.  I haven't been sure that Gardening When it Counts had new information, but I'll definitely go read about dust mulch!  I also thought I'd try dense interplanting with plants slugs don't like--aromatics and prickly plants--and we've got coarse, dry cedar chips between our beds.  In one bed, though, I've got strawberries as edging and the slugs are clearly ignoring the strawberries and munching the peas!  The experiments continue!

Cheers,
Rosie
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
If you tap -maple syrup native americans- in google you get a good article or two on native american traditional techniques. Some one who knows how to give the address so it comes out here in blue and only has to be clicked on should include it. agri rose macaskie.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14950
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Covered a bit in podcast 060

 
 
subject: No-Dig Straw Mulch Gardening- Ruth Stout Video Series
 
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