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Note: This is ´My Sandbox´, for figuring out. 
 Please, do not edit in this draft. Here is a "Discussion" page, for 
 kind talk, exchange. 
Thank You very much. 

(For already now available access to the informations this note and a link to the Sandbox as Preliminary preparation there, as far as figured out, the Ruth Stout Wikiquote article.)


Under construction, in progress. In the Sandbox

Ruth Stout (Ruth Imogen Stout) (Note) [edit]

Gardener. Writer.

Inventing, 1944, a “No-Work” method of mulch gardening, farming. [1]


Ruth Stout at Wikipedia,
the Ruth Stout system, the publishings (Works).

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Ruth Stout at World Heritage Encyclopedia (Note)[edit]

Quotes "Compiled by World Heritage Encyclopedia", "sourced from Wikipedia".
(Sadnessly now - Status: Mo. 16th of May 2022 - not public anymore, because of the requirement: Registration.)

The sustainable benefits this mulch method[edit]

  • Saving efforts of: time, works, energy.
  • Saving water-ressources.
Keeps water (humidity) more and longer in the soil, even in more hotter areas.
  • Establishing lividly, healthy soil.
Multiplying soil and nutrients, as ´side-effect´.
By composting in place.
  • Creates ph7 as side-effect, which provides the demands of all plants, for acidic and alkaline needs. [2]
  • Without: plowing, digging, touching in into the growing, lividly soil-life structure, if not necessary.

(Note: For not to promote the ideology (philosophy is ideology) Permaculture not linked to Wikipedia ´Sheet mulching´, where ´sheet mulching´ is mentioned as "known as composting in place" [3]; article at Wikipedia does not exist (Tuesday, 13th of June 2021), not even as part of the Wikipedia Compost article. OK.
But to Mulch and Compost.)


Bold here, in the TOC (Table Of Content): the statements the essential short.

Gardening topic related[edit]

From Publication, by Ruth Stout: Ruth Stout's System for Gardening (in magazine Mother Earth News -- March 2004)

(As pdf-file

The inventing[edit]

Now and then I am asked (usually by an irritated expert) why I think I invented mulching. Well, naturally, I don't think so; God invented it simply by deciding to have the leaves fall off the trees once a year. I don't even think that I'm the first, or only person, who thought up my particular variety of year-round mulching, but apparently I'm the first to make a big noise about it — writing, talking, demonstrating. [4][edit]

The beginning[edit]

´Short version (1)´ (Source: Ruth Stout)

"In the Spring of 1944, Stout decided that she wasn't going to wait for the plowman, nor was she going to plow on her own. Instead she planted the seeds and covered them, waiting to see what would happen, and discovered surprising success."[edit]

´Short version (2)´ (Source: Wikipedia Ruth Stout, Roots of the no-work method)

In the Spring of 1944, after following the advice of other gardeners who used commercial fertilizers, "poisonous sprays" and plowing for fifteen years, Stout decided that she wasn't going to wait for the plowman, nor was she going to plow on her own. Instead she planted the seeds and covered them, waiting to see what would happen, and discovered surprising success.[edit]

´Long version´ (Source: ´The Whole Ruth´, part 3)

Ruth’s Big Gardening Break-Through

It was during WWII that Ruth started on a path that would ultimately and completely change her view of how to garden. She said this new vision came about from her own impatience. Every spring she would be eager to plant, and every spring she had to wait for the plowman to turn over the earth first, as that’s how it was done. The growing season was short in Connecticut and with plowing delayed, well, it was slightly maddening. Ruth grew a lot of their food, had a huge garden to plant, and wanted to get to work. While she was in great health, she was growing older (in 1944 she’d turn 60), and it was beginning to seem like too much work.

She relates that that early April day, in the spring of 1944, after 14 years of gardening, she went outside to the garden “to shed a tear,” because she couldn’t plant yet. While there, she asked the asparagus, “We don’t have to plow for you, why do we have to plow for the other vegetables?” She said the asparagus replied, saying, “You don’t. Go ahead and plant.” She decided to plant her vegetable seeds then, with no plowing, and waited to see what would happen. Ruth would discover that with her method, annual vegetables and flowers could thrive without plowing. All they needed was straw mulch.

Her first experience was successful enough to encourage her to do more, but it would take a few years to develop and refine her “no-work” method.

The method[edit]

My no-work gardening method is simply to keep a thick mulch of any vegetable matter that rots on both my vegetable and flower garden all year round. As it decays and enriches the soil, I add more. The labor-saving part of my system is that I never plow, spade, sow a cover crop, harrow, hoe, cultivate, weed, water or spray.[edit]

Starting mulching

I beg everyone to start with a mulch 8 inches deep; otherwise, weeds may come through, [5][edit]

Starting the establishing a healthy soil fast (in from about 2 months [6]), with mulch and (animal´s) manure

Should you spread manure and plow it under before you mulch? Yes, if your soil isn't very rich; otherwise, mulch alone will answer the purpose.[edit]


Many People Want to Know Why I Don't Use Manure and What I Have Against It.
I have nothing at all against it; in fact, I have a somewhat exaggerated respect for it. But I no longer need it; the ever-rotting mulch takes its place.

half-dozen people have sent me poems they composed about manure piles[edit]

Wood chips perfect mulch layer [7]

Use all the leaves you can find. Clip your cornstalks into foot length pieces and use them. Utilize your garbage, tops of perennials, any and all vegetable matter that rots.

In many localities, the utility companies grind up the branches they cut off when they clear the wires; and often they are glad to dump them near your garden, with no charge.

From Publication, by Ruth Stout: Ruth Stout's System for Gardening (in magazine Mother Earth News -- March 2004)

(Sorry, still deciding, where to place it, here or above.)

Garden books, Editions, Languages[edit]

(In progress: Languages: english, german, swedish)

  • Before (or) 1955, (source ?), the first book self-published, (title (and source) searching).

Quotes (Source

"Now in her mid-sixties, she self-published her very first book.",
"His wife’s self-published book proved successful enough that in 1955 Exposition Press in New York re-published Ruth’s book as How to have a Green Thumb without an Aching Back: A New Method of Mulch Gardening. Ruth said she thought the title was rather silly, but went along with it."

  • 1955, How to have a Green Thumb without an Aching Back: A New Method of Mulch Gardening, by Ruth Stout, Leta Macleod Brunckhorst, [1st ed.]. Exposition Press New York, English. Pages 164.

Source, limited preview

(5 Editions, until 1990

(Un-ordered still)

  • 1971, The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book, by Ruth Stout and Richard Clemence. Rodale Press, English. Pages 218. ISBN (10): 0878570004


"Authors' articles published in" (the magazine) "Organic gardening and farming, 1953-1971.",
"Other Titles": "Organic gardening and farming., No-work garden book."

Source, (limited) preview, contents

(Four) further editions

Gardening Without Work
For the Aging, the Busy & the Indolent
Norton Creek Press, August 2011, 226 pages, ISBN 0981928463

a few (english)

some editions (english, german, swedish)

Books (Editions, Languages, timeline) from 1955

See also[edit]

See also some historical and other organic gardening topics[edit]

Water ressources, energy, work, time saving, at least from much less watering necessary.
Establishing healthy soil and nutrients.
Multiplying soil and nutrients.
Creating ph7.
quotes "an off season" [10] "farming technique to dig pits" "to catch water and concentrate compost"
Farmers of Forty Centuries, or Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan
(Greening The Desert), interview, 1986,
Water ressources, energy and work saving, at least from much less watering necessary.
A preparation as requirement for healthy soil creating and more water (humidity) keeping. (Also as adding.)
Nutrients are being deposited in the charcoal (of the Terra Preta) until needed (no over-fertilizing).
Against any mold, in garden, in farming, and buildings.
Is liked to be used for indoor climate betterment in hotels, in animal´s barns as cow barns or horse barns, at least in Germany.
(I only know it from there, from internet searches; serious sources appreciated.
In english currently these two sources for composting barns, which are well to combine with EMs and
  • Whey, as alternative, or as add (language presentation perhaps depending on from which country calling this site, so to english translation perhaps double now, sorry
Quotes "This website provides free downloadable e-books about radical agriculture, natural hygiene/nature cure and self-sufficiency.", "There is no fee for downloading anything in this library."

(Author´s Memo)[edit]

To ´Talk´: Still open question to me is: did Ruth Stout, and when (year) and where (which book, which site), did ´some´ statements already in her earlier books or any else publications ? Special about manure.

(The video, the book ´The Whole Ruth´, from interesst for Mediawiki, Wikimedia Commons, the books to Wikibooks ?)

  1. Ruth Stout quoted by Sandry Knauf, 3 December 2014, by The Whole Ruth, Part One. (Accessed on July 31, 2021.)
    "The reason [I can do this] is that I never had to plow, or spade, or cultivate, or weed, or hoe, or use fertilizer, or use a poison spray, or use a compost pile, or water. I just plant and pick. The reason that I can do all this is because I keep the ground covered all year long in hay mulch—which rots, fertilizes the ground, keeps down the weeds, keeps the ground soft, and that’s all there is to it.”

    In one paragraph, that’s Ruth Stout’s famous “no-work” gardening method. Of course, it isn’t quite that easy—one would have to buy and bring in hay, and there are other gardening chores (maintaining structures, dealing with wildlife, plucking out the occasional weed, etc.)—but Ruth Stout’s “no-work” garden method is very close to that claim."
  2. (Source, Reference: This is the implication, the significance, of sharing this experience with a flower as indicator of ph-level, which has the two blossom colours in one flower; in comparism to one colour each, depending on either from acidic OR alkaline soil. (A note, with photo, in a group ´Back To Eden Gardening´. Just ´easy´ repeatable.)
    Whether Ruth Stout did do any statement about ph7, I do not know. This is not the claim.)
  3. Composting in Place or Compost In-Situ a result of this search
  4. In the chapter Now for the Million Dollar Question: Where Do You Get Mulch? in the article
  5. Note: because of the weed as side-effect. There are some kind of weeds, that do not care about, but they are much easier to pull out of the soil, as soon as the soil will be looser, with optimizing the soil this way.
    These 8 inches in the main for the effect of water self-providing in heat times, near at all, the water keeping and much less until no (with the time, depending on the soil´s quality with) watering necessary.
  6. Source: shared experience in a Back To Eden Gardening group
  7. Source: Back To Eden Gardening Method
  8. Ruth Stout at IMDb
  9. (In mention:) "Her common-sense, try-it-out-and-see-for-yourself approach spawned a long-running series of articles in Organic Gardening and Farming magazine (1953-1971). These would later be made into her third and last book on gardening, The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book (co-authored with Richard Clemence)."
    (To complete, despite there seem to be much more editions from different publishers with this name before, the following is more clear, the year I am still not sure:) "Stout, R. & Clemence, R. (1973). The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book: Secrets of the year-round mulch method. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press".
  10. Source: wikipedia disambiguation page