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Old April 23, 2015   #20
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Saylorsburg, PA
Posts: 229

Over 50 years ago I came across a marvelous book by Ruth Stout called "The No Work Garden". It was a very readable book with a good, literally down to earth common sense method of growing things. As a teenager I was very impressed and have never forgotten her admonition that if you till the soil you will upset, if not destroy, the balance of all the living microbes below. Consequently I try to dig as little as possible. For the last 8 years I have grown tomatoes in straw or hay bales and used the decomposed material after the season in my beds. My garden soil has never been better and is easy to work with my hands.
You can get good general info about her method and a list of her works at

For you mystery fans she was the sister of Rex Stout, who wrote the Nero Wolfe novels!

When I read the Lasagna Gardening Book, I immediately thought of Ruth Stout. Sometimes the old methods are still the best methods. Nothing wrong with tweaking the system to meet modern needs but the principles don't change! So Cole Robbie, I believe you are on the right track and will love your "no till" method and its results. Do see if you can pick up one of her books somewhere. offers several of them. They really are a good read since both brother and sister possessed a lot of wit! Good luck in your endeavor and do keep us posted concerning your results!
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