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Ruth Stout Gardening Method

We are building a new home for our family, and I’m dreaming of a garden at our new place. With so much to do when you build, I’m afraid we won’t have time for a garden this year, and I can’t imagine life without a garden. So, I’ve been reading up on no-work gardening and came across the Ruth Stout gardening method. WOW! I love it!

A garden bed covered in spoiled hay.
Image Credit: Backyard Garden Lover

What an amazing woman! I love her free spirit and fun personality. I just watched a video interview she had late in her life and couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

She was “planting potatoes” by throwing them on the ground and then covering them with straw.  I think even I can do that while building a new home 😉

Here’s that Ruth Stout method video if you’d like to watch it (not the best quality, but you’ll get what she’s doing): it’s about 10 minutes and worth watching!

What Is The Ruth Stout Gardening Method?

Ruth’s gardening method might seem crazy to some, but I’ve watched enough videos of people using her methods and read enough stories that I believe it with all my heart.

I plan to use this method for my 2024 garden, so even though we’ll be busy building a new home, we can still enjoy fresh herbs and veggies from our garden.

The Ruth Stout garden method

No matter what you call Ruth’s method of gardening, be it no-work gardening, mulch gardening, or even lazy gardening, once you try it, you may never go back to gardening the old way. And why would you? It’s so much more fun to get all the benefits of gardening and none of the hard work 😛

Here’s what her method entails: no plowing, cultivating, weeding, watering, or spraying. And no cultivating cover crops. Just sow your seeds on top of the soil, wiggle your hand on them to cover the seeds a bit, and that’s all. Or, throw potatoes on the ground and cover them with spoiled hay.

The hay decomposes and enriches the soil, so this gardening method will give you better and better yields as the years go by. She suggests adding a layer of hay that’s at least 8″ tall (the more, the better)

She only used one fertilizer: cottonseed meal. It adds a bit of nitrogen to the soil and keeps it healthy.

Books About Ruth Stout And Her Method

If you want to learn more about Ruth’s way of gardening (and living), there are a few must-have books. Take a peek below. I just got a couple of them myself. This woman is fascinating!

Proof that the Ruth Stout gardening method works

I love this gardening method, and it almost seems too good to be true, so I decided to go to YouTube and see if anyone had any proof from their own garden.

I found lots and lots of videos. I’m just including one here, but you can check and see for yourself. Now, I can’t wait for spring to get started! Oh, here are 7 of the easiest vegetables to plant this spring 😉

Rush Stout no work gardening method.
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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

How to Grow Lavender for Fun and Profit: Lessons Learned from Planting Three Hundred Lavender Plants

How to Raise Chickens for Eggs: A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens for Nutritious, Organic Eggs at Home

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Joan Terrell

Friday 20th of September 2019

Oh my goodness, I am just learning about Ruth Stout and her method. I so appreciate your providing this info and the videos. A whole new world is opening.

Aaron Muertter

Tuesday 11th of June 2019

Straw often is contaminated with herbicides. So is some hay


Sunday 16th of June 2019

Buy it from local farmers you know ;)