Cultivating Gardeners


July 12, 2013

Not gardens – gardeners. After all there is no garden if the space has no gardener. The guys at Earth Starter get that point very well and have a really creative way of addressing growing fresh food in a really small space in the yard that makes it so simple, even a child can do it. They call it Nourishmat, and as ideas go it is a great one.

One of the hardest thing about growing food outdoors is keeping weeds under control. Nourishmat makes your wee plot garden weed-free and is also super water conservative. (It is best to start with a weed-free space or your seeds will be competing with other plant’s roots for light, water and fertilizer. The ingenious design not only makes planting a nutritious veggie garden or herb garden as simple as paint by number art, the ground fabric blocks weeds from growing and retains soil moisture beautifully. You’ll use up to 80% less water with Nourishmat than if you grew the same layout in bare soil.

Planting Nourishmat Seed BallsThe mat will last 3-5 years and you can get it with or without irrigation, which is a built in drip line that simply attaches to your garden hose. Away a lot? Put a timer on the faucet and it will water your good food garden while you’re out of town or just keeping up with work and family. You can also change the size if your space doesn’t quite work. Just cut it down to sections that fit the plot you’ve got. The mat is fixed into place with ground staples like the ones used to put weed barrier fabric down. (Not sure if you cut the mat with the irrigation option.)

Like seed bombs, the vegetable and herb seeds that come with the Nourishmat or Herbmat micro garden system are thickly coated with what the seed needs to get going. The large size makes handling even fine seed like carrots a breeze for anyone from age 2 to 82. Of course, you would need to get new seeds every year to replant. They sell the seed ball kits separately.

This unique organic and no-till gardening concept was dreamed up by Phillip Weiner and John Gorby who have paid attention to good neighbor companion planting and square foot gardening rules in designing the garden layouts. Nourishmat and Herbmat have been tested in 22 states by adults and school groups. The team worked closely with the kids while developing the study plan that will be used by future classroom instructors. They’ve won a lot of awards and competitions and currently have a Kickstarter Campaign underway to reconnect people with their food… easily and anywhere.

Head on over to the Nourishmat Kickstarter page and help them reach their current goal. You’ll find more info about Phillip and John and their venture on the Nourishmat website. The only way to order a kit right now is to pledge on their Kickstarter page.

Tammy Clayton

Tammy Clayton

Contributing Writer at Garden Culture Magazine
Tammy has been immersed in the world of plants and growing since her first job as an assistant weeder at the tender age of 8. Heavily influenced by a former life as a landscape designer and nursery owner, she swears good looking plants follow her home.
Tammy Clayton

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