The Ruth Stout Method: A ”No-Work” Technique for Starting an Organic Garden

Are you thinking of starting an organic vegetable garden that requires no fertilizers, no watering, and best of all, no digging and soil amendments?

In that case, the Ruth Stout method is one of the easiest techniques you can try. It's a fantastic way to grow your own food, using just one secret ingredient: lots and lots of hay mulch.

Ruth Stout Method

Ruth used it with great success for over 35 years and essentially created a garden that required no digging, tilling, watering, or using fertilizers.


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At first glance, this permaculture method sounds easy enough to implement. But there are a few key details you need to know if you want it to be successful.

6 Steps

When starting a Ruth Stout garden, the easiest mistake is assuming that laying some hay mulch on the ground will act as an instant fix, and you’ll never have to dig or till again.

1.) Your Soil

For best results, Ruth Stout recommended preparing the garden in late summer or fall.

2.) Start Time

You can use some straw in a Ruth Stout garden, but for best results, the bulk of your mulch should be made out of hay.

3.) Mulch Used


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