Guest: Greg Auton of MaritimeGardening.com
Greg Auton is The Maritime Gardener, a podcaster and YouTuber in Nova Scotia, with 2500 square feet of vegetable gardens. Shauna and Dorothy set out to talk to him about vegetable gardening and extending the gardening season, and they did. In part. But they talked about so much more.
Greg has a full-time job unrelated to gardening, so he’s developed methods that don’t keep him futzing about with digging and weeding. To start a new garden, he just mows down whatever collection of grass and weeds is in an area in the spring and throws down some potatoes, which he covers with about a foot of any kind of mulch he can come up with, like straw or old leaves. Then he leaves it. Yes, really. In the fall, he comes back to a crop of potatoes and a bed of friable earth for planting next spring.
He doesn’t start seeds indoors. He’s tried without much success. Instead, he warms up soil in his garden by putting a windowpane or clear plastic over top, then direct seeds there. The pre-warming of soil and keeping it warm in early spring keeps spinach and kale going and helps ensure tomatoes don’t give in to cool nights. Does it work? Well, he grows enough to feed the family through most of the year.
Greg is something of a permaculture junkie. He’s read a lot of literature and names a few people we’ll copy here, to make them easier to find if you’re interested: Sepp Holzer, Bill Mollison, David Holmgren and Ruth Stout. In addition to the no-digging concept, he’s cottoned on to mulch in a big way. Mulch is easy to come by, he says; people leave it out for him, bagged, at the end of their driveways. He just needs to pick it up before the municipality does!
To listen to Episode 1 about Seeds, click here.
To listen to Episode 2 about Starting Tomatoes, click here.
To listen to Episode 3 about flowering shrubs, click here.
To listen to Episode 4 about birds, click here.