How is your garden growing?

How is your garden growing?

Local student talks about her new, no-dig garden


By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative


There is a new, no-dig garden on Queen St. in Lennoxville. The Record checked in with Frédérique LeBlanc-Piette to see how it is doing.

“We are five students studying sustainable agriculture at Bishop’s,” LeBlanc-Piette explained. They are all passionate about agriculture, she added. Their house had enough space in the back for a garden, so they were all very excited, she said.

They put the no-dig garden in this spring, she continued. No-dig gardens are made by putting soil on top of the ground instead of digging down. The idea is to be self-sufficient and apply everything they are learning at school. They are not using any chemicals in their garden, she said. The garden has tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, peas, beets, Swiss chard, spinach, and lettuce, she said.

Everything was going well at first, but they recently developed a deer and groundhog problem, she said. They have a fence, but the deer made a hole, she explained. “It has been a bit of a rocky week,” she admitted. The heavy rain has negatively affected the squash. “Squash are more fragile,” she said.

Using a technique they learned at school, they put a special form of recycled paper down to keep the moisture in the garden during a period of drought in the spring. The method worked well, she said; the beds that were papered fared better in the drought.

Lately, there has been too much rain, she continued. The squash is starting to go moldy. They will likely remove the hay on the squash so the sunshine can dry it out. “It’s the new problems of climate change and thunderstorms,” she added.

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