Adventures in mound gardening part two! You may have read our original post on mound gardening, but we’ve adapted to our southern climate and adjusted a few things since then.
Our old landscaping tie posts eventually started to rot out, so we opted to replace those with garden stakes instead. We discovered that the weeds along the backside of the garden had a tendency to creep into the garden and use our fencing as a trellis, blocking out sunlight from our veggies.
To avoid that issue, we added a layer of weed block fabric and covered it with mulch. It also adds a nice burst of color to the garden as well and makes it much easier to see snakes that may be visiting. Since we have several species of venomous snakes in our area, I’ve really enjoyed this latest feature.
Mound Garden Watering System
This time around we tilled the garden and created the soil mounds, as usual, adding in some natural compost during the tilling process. However, just prior to raking our mounds, we installed pvc pipe underground and then added garden stakes to support sprinkler heads.
The southern heat was absolutely cooking our garden hoses over the course of the summer and we discovered that the water that came out initially was burning our plants as well.
If you don’t want to invest in pvc pipes to alleviate this issue, cover the hoses with a layer of straw instead.
Why Add Straw?
We add a layer of straw over the entire garden for several reasons:
- It helps to prevent weed growth.
- The straw holds the moisture in better, reduces the amount of water needed to keep the garden thriving.
- Using straw makes it easier to spot potentially dangerous guests, such as rattlesnakes and copperheads.
Mound Gardening Trellis
Many of our veggies are climbers, so we tied jute string to the garden supports to create a natural trellis for the plants.
This also helps support the tomato plants when they grow heavy with fruit. Although, we did eventually add tomato cages to some of the larger plants. The seedlings shown here are cherry tomato varieties.
The seedlings grow rapidly in a raised garden bed because it encourages the roots to grow deeper. Using this method the water reaches the roots more rapidly than in traditional gardens.
Natural Pest Control
While planning our garden, we choose plants that naturally complement each other. This process is known as companion planting. It’s essential if you want an organic garden as it drastically reduces the number of pests that are attracted to your plants.
Another option for additional natural pest control is to raise natural predators in the garden. This may sound a little freaky, after all, who wants a predator living in their garden?! We do! They work wonderfully for reducing the bug, mouse and vole population and they’re perfectly harmless to people.
Mid Season Progress
Here’s a view of the garden mid-season. We have not removed any weeds all season long, so the few that you see are mostly the straw seed that has grown.