Ruth Stout’s Hay Mulch Planting Method

 I was surprised not to find Ruth Stout already here in a search of this blog.

Ruth lived from 1884 until 1980 and is famous for her planting method of essentially pressing seeds into the ground, which she prepared by covering with soft hay to protect from the sun, suppress weeds and keep the ground moist. There are a few other things she did, but nothing compared to conventional horticulture.

Hers was such a quick and easy way of planting without plowing, weeding, poison sprays and time consuming labor that she was able to do it into her nineties. Seems like the title of one her books about this approach is truth in advertising, Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, the Busy, and the Indolent.

An alternative that might be tried in combination with hay mulching is to create permaculture seedballs from red clay, organic compost, seeds and water then let them dry out to be cast on the ground to germinate when the rains come.

A food forest that thrived without human intervention for many years indicates that these methods could work on remote untended land, what survivalist/preppers like Jack Spirko call a “bug out location.”

Part 1 of 3 YouTube video of Ruth Stout in her garden.

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