Suggested Reading

For a deeper look into this module read the following:

Four Season Harvest: p. 31-40; 46-54

The New Organic Grower: p. 33-49

Join the Discussion


  • Jason

    Reply Reply March 27, 2014

    What about laying down cardboard in the walkways to keep the weeds down? Or using cardboard as the underlayment for the mulch in the slow method?

    • Paul

      Reply Reply March 28, 2014

      Absolutely Jason – cardboard can work very well under the mulch to keep weeds back. We’ve actually used cardboard under the mulch in our flower beds before.

      And you could definitely try it out in the walkways too. You might need to find some way to stake it down though or it seems it would slide or blow away.

  • Melody

    Reply Reply March 18, 2015

    What do you do to keep the weeds out of your walkways? We put down old carpet on our walkways a couple of years ago and the weeds are now growing through it! I thought the carpet would be thick enough to prevent that.

    • Paul

      Reply Reply March 19, 2015

      Great question Melody. We honestly simply keep our walkways weeded by hand. In the lesson coming up on cultivating (weeding) you’ll learn more about how you can keep the weeds at bay with very minimal effort. It’s a matter of timing usually.

      Otherwise, yes – unfortunately even if the weeds didn’t make it through your carpet, over time soil will collect on top and they will start growing on top. This is what happens sometimes when ground cloth is used.

      One other option is to used boards. Of course you will have weeds growing up between the boards – but you can use planks laid down in the walk ways.

      And finally, another option is to make your walk ways wide enough for a small lawn mower and then simply let them grow into grass or clover. If you did this you’d have to make sure that it didn’t end up growing into your beds – but it would be easy to simply come between and mow.

      In the end, I’d suggest keeping them weeded by hand. Feel free to jump ahead and watch the cultivating video and you’ll see some very useful tools that make it so much easier and efficient.

  • Jan Johnson

    Reply Reply November 10, 2015

    I noticed on your slide “Growing in Beds (Not Rows)

    The slide says 40 sq ft or 1/5 of 100 linear feet)
    Your over voice says, and I believe you mean 1/2)

    I am loving this program

    • Paul

      Reply Reply April 14, 2016

      Hi Jan,

      So sorry I missed this earlier! Thanks for the note. Let’s see… something must be off there because it should be 50 sq ft in a 20 foot long bed at 30 inches wide.

      As for the 1/5 of 100 linear feet that is because if the amendment company gives directions per 100 linear feet you would want to simply apply the amendment on the bed considering the bed is 20 linear feet. When companies do that they are usually assuming you are growing in rows vs. beds, but our beds are narrow enough to use the same recommendation. If in doubt you could add a little extra.

      Otherwise if the company gives the recommendation per 100 sq ft then you will amend each bed as being 50 sq ft.

      Hope this helps!

  • Joelle

    Reply Reply April 13, 2016

    How do you plant corn in 30 inch wide beds? It seems like it has to be planted about a foot apart for good pollination.

    • Paul

      Reply Reply April 14, 2016

      Great question Joelle!

      In standard growing corn is planted in rows 30 inches apart with the plants 12 inches apart in the row.

      I’d suggest staggering the corn down the 30 inch wide bed in two rows in the bed. That would be similar to the cabbage or broccoli in this picture:

      (not the same spacing as the cabbage etc. but the same idea)

      Keep the plants 12 inches apart and I’d do the staggered rows 12-18 inches apart in the bed.

      Let me know how it goes!

      • Joelle

        Reply Reply April 19, 2016

        OK, I’ll have to give that a try! Thanks.

        • Paul

          Reply Reply April 19, 2016

          You’re welcome!

  • Nance Highum

    Reply Reply September 7, 2017

    I built a keyhole garden last year and am excited to grow our own veges. Not sure the spacing for regular 30″ wide beds will permit enough plants to make the effort worthwhile. Keyhole gardens are designed to be planted densely. Do you have any guidance for keyhole gardeners? They are becoming very popular here in central Texas where we have no soil, only caliche.

    • Paul

      Reply Reply September 7, 2017

      Great question Nance! I love the keyhole garden idea! And absolutely, I’d use the same plant spacing we use in the 30″ bed in your keyhole gardens. We have it set up to grow pretty intensely – but you could even squeeze the plants a little extra if you wanted. Have you seen our Ultimate Garden Cheat Sheet yet? It has our favorite plant spacings in it. I think you’ll find it helpful. You can always adjust the number of plants you grow to fit the width of your garden beds. Here’s the link to download it:

  • Susan Harboldt

    Reply Reply February 22, 2018

    I couldn’t access the Ultimate Garden Cheat Sheet with this link.

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