Archive for the ‘Back to Eden’ Category

Back To Eden Garden 2.0

March 26, 2017 Leave a comment


Prior to my long blog posting hiatus, I had a 40 x 20 Back to Eden garden in my backyard.  I loved the beauty of the garden.  The wood mulches gave it such a natural landscape and also kept the soil most and teeming with biological activity.

However, after several seasons, I started to realize some of the drawback of the Back to Eden approach.  I will detail these in a future post.  In an effort to solve some of the problems, I decided to combine the Back to Eden approach with raised bed square foot gardening.  This gave birth to version 2.0 of my Back to Eden Garden which has now been in place for three years now.


I love the efficient use of space in this garden design. It more than doubles the amount of growing space while sharing the same footprint as the old garden.  The beds also make it very easy to follow the square foot gardening approach for plant placement and spacing.  Best of all, the garden look like the work an artistic engineer rather than the disorganized chaos that I often see in other gardens.

I’ve been using this garden for the past couple of years and still think that it is the best design to maximize the growing space in the southeastern 40 feet x 20 feet section of my backyard.

After a whole winter of no plantings, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the coming of Spring so I can put finally put my garden to work.  Last weekend, to my delight, I found tomato and pepper plants at Costco.  They became the first addition to my Spring garden.


While the garden makeover did solve many problems, I have still continued to struggle over the past couple of years with squirrels plundering my crop.  They seem to love everything in the cabbage family, including cabbage, collard, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi.  And their hunger became even more ravenous during the winter when their natural food supplies are low.  I got so discouraged at seeing beds of new planted seedlings destroyed in just days that I gave up growing these crops completely.

This weekend while visiting Home Depot, I saw that they were fully stocked on all of the squirrels’ favorite delicacies.  I decided to give it a go again.  I purchased and planted close to 50 of these seedlings.


To protect the cabbage family seedlings from the squirrels, I constructed four chicken-wire covered tunnels of 4 foot length.


After the hard work was done, I shared a well-deserved watermelon snack with the free-range bunnies.


Spring Garden

April 28, 2013 Leave a comment

I started my spring garden two weekends ago with the planting of corn, eggplant, bell pepper, crooked-neck squash, straight-neck squash and zucchini squash. Since then, an unusual amount of traveling has kept me from finishing my spring plantings. I was starting to get a bit concerned that if I wait any longer the stores would stop carrying spring vegetables. I went to Lowe’s today and was surprised to find that they were fairly well stocked so I went on a shopping spree to make up for lost time. I started planting in the morning. By noon, the rain which had been forecasted for the entire weekend finally graced us with its presence. Undeterred, I continued working in my rain suit and by the end of the day my backyard was finally starting to resemble a garden.


My spring garden now consists of:

1 oregano
1 spicy oregano
1 stevia
1 lemon balm
1 orange mint
2 German thyme
2 red bell pepper
2 orange petite bell pepper
2 rosemary
2 sweet basil
3 yellow bell pepper
4 Japanese eggplant
4 corn
4 husky cherry red tomato
8 black beauty eggplant
8 spaghetti squash
8 sweet potato
8 Georgia hybrid collard
8 asparagus

Here are some pictures.



Black Beauty eggplant:


Red, yellow, and green bell pepper:


Japanese eggplant:


Spaghetti squash:


Cherry tomato:


Sweet potato:




Orange mint:


Lemon balm:




Spicy oregano:


German thyme:


Sweet basil:




Crooked-neck, straight-neck, and zucchini squash:


Georgia hybrid collards:




In addition, there are still some remnants from the winter garden:

1 flat leave parsley
1 cilantro
2 carrot
8 cabbage
22 Swiss chard

The parsley, cilantro and Swiss chards are looking prehistoric with their enormous size. One of the carrot plant’s leafy top is now at my waist height. I hope this is indicative of the size of the carrot underground.

Here are some pictures of these monster winter plants. I’ve included a 5 gallon bucket in some of the pictures for size reference.





Flat leaf parsley:




Swiss Chard:


Back to Eden Seed Experiment

November 21, 2012 Leave a comment

I got some seeds from my friend Debbie who runs a local community garden and decided to try seeding in my Back to Eden garden. I seeded in well-aged wood chips that had decomposed to near topsoil consistency. I seeded arugula, beets, and carrots. After several weeks of waiting it looks like I may have at least partial success.

These are either arugula or weeds… only time will tell:


At least half of the beet seeds are definitely coming up: