On this week’s episode, the guys discuss the recently popular “Back to Eden” gardening technique. This technique involves mulching the entire garden area with straw or wood chips in an attempt to reduce weed pressure and conserve moisture. Travis mentions that while it does suppress some weeds, there will still be weed seed inputs from wind, water and animals. And those weeds would require pulling by hand because of the inability to use a cultivating/weeding tool in a heavily mulched area. Greg mentions that replicating a forest environment is not a good idea for vegetable plants. When growing a vegetable garden, we must manipulate the environment because these plants such as tomatoes, peppers or watermelons are not native. As a result, mulched areas create an unnatural environment for these cultivated varieties. Travis also mentions that the Back to Eden method is not a very time-efficient method of gardening. With short-term annual crops, it requires too much time to remove mulch when you plant versus simply cultivating the area once a week.
On the Show & Tell segment this week, they talk about their upcoming event at the Sunbelt Ag Expo. Greg says the garden is looking good with corn, collards, cut flowers and more. Greg also has some Seminole Pumpkins that he recently harvested from his personal garden. This pumpkin variety is very resistant to viruses and diseases that typically plague pumpkins grown in southern climates. Travis mentions that the Seminole variety has great flavor and is perfect for making pies or even baby food.
On the Q&A segment, they answer a question about tillage radish spacing as a cover crop. Travis explains that recommendations suggest spacing of rows 6″ to 14″ apart, but that he would err on the side of having rows closer together. He suggests planting rows 6″ apart if planting tillage radish with a walk-behind seeder. Greg talks about the benefits of tillage radish as a cover crop because it acts as a sponge for nutrients and breaks down easily when incorporated into the soil.