Gardening Zine cover: How to start a garden the free way

Printable Gardening Zine: “How To Start A Garden The Free Way”

Setting up a Liberation Garden in your backyard while you’re stuck at home can be a great way to increase your own food security and the food sovereignty of your community. It won’t solve grocery store shortages right away, but you could be less than a month away from fresh greens, and in three months, you could have more squash than you know what to do with. With the help of this printable gardening zine, you’ll be able to start your own Liberation Garden without spending any money or exposing yourself to germs in big box stores.

It’s not as simple as sticking seeds into the ground and hoping, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. I needed some art time, so I drew a zine! It walks you through what you need, where to find it when stores are closed, and how to get ready to grow. Download it from here and follow these instructions to turn it into a little 8-page booklet that you can keep in a pocket or distribute to your neighbors.

There are way too many good gardening resources out there to list on a one-page zine, so I’m listing them here to make them easy to find.

  • Gardening Zine cover: How to start a garden the free way
  • Gardening Zine pages 2 & 3. Materials needed: Barrier Underlayer: Cardboard, newspaper, phone books, old cotton sheets or blankets. Green Materials: Grass Clippings, eggshells, coffee grounds, rabbit, chicken, or horse manure, fruit & veg scraps, seaweed, plant trimmings. Brown Materials: fall leaves, shredded paper, pine needles, sawdust, dryer lint, fabric scraps (natural fibers only.) Where to find them. Ask your: neighbors, friends, family, coworkers, comrades. Check dumpsters behind: gas stations, coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants. Other sources: craigslist, nextdoor, facebook, riding stables, backyard chicken groups.
  • Gardening Zine pages 4 and 5. Step 1: Layout. Choose a location that gets full sun or dappled shade for most of the day. Keep beds small enough that you can reach the center easily. (Optional) Create a border using rocks, bricks, cinder blocks, straw bales, wood from pallets, or whatever you can find. Step 2: Barrier. (Optional) If covering lawn. Dig up the sod and put it back grass-down-roots-up. This will kill it with less barrier material. Cover the bed area with a thick layer of barrier materials. No sun should get down, so sprouts should get up. Add more cardboard. You always need more cardboard."
  • Gardening Zine pages 6 and 7. "Step 3: Layering. Start with a bottom layer of wood chips, branches, and rotten logs if you have them. This improves drainage. Alternate Layers of Greens and Browns until the bed is the desired height. (Optional) Plant potatoes in the bottom layer and add layers as they grow. Potatoes love this. Top with mulch like Woodchips or Pine Needles. Step 4: Planting. Adaptable plants (most greens, bulbs, wildflowers) can be seeded directly into the new bed. More delicate plants may need a pocket of compost around their soil. Plant starts can be transplanted with their pocket of potting soil. Water regularly. Observe your new garden frequently. Let the plants tell you what they need."
  • Gardening Zine Back cover: "From your neighbor @ [blank] Search terms for further research: Lasagna beds, no dig gardens, food sovereignty, composting, food not lawns, permaculture
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