20 years without a shovel: Zamyatkin's smart garden
20 years without a shovel: Zamyatkin's smart garden

The historical village of Shushenskoye is the bank of the Yenisei. The soils are poor sandy loam, in summer it is higher than + 35 °, in winter up to -45 °, there is little snow. Every second year there are severe droughts. Bread burns out on arable fields, potatoes do not give birth - many do not even dig them. And at this time Zamyatkin stably and effortlessly collects fivefold harvests.

Zamyatkin's site has not known shovels for about twenty years.According to him, in ten years the fertile layer has deepened to 30-40 cm. The soil has become so loose that the pegs for tomatoes do not need to be driven in - they are easily stuck in. The potato harvest approached two tons per hundred square meters. Cabbage - per pood heads of cabbage - up to 1800 kg per one hundred square meters. The yields of cabbage and carrots are three to five times higher than average, berry crops are abundant.

Zamyatkin uses neither manure, much less compost. From fertilizers - only ash. Now in his beds, in his words, a true fertile agricultural soil. This means the maximum yield is guaranteed in any year.


Of course, a third of the increase is provided by varietal agricultural technology: Zamyatkin selected the best varieties for himself and literally became akin to them. But two-thirds of the success is a natural vegetable garden system: narrow beds, no plowing, sowing green manure, reasonable fruit change, mulching.

“The harvest is no longer a problem. Recordomania seems to have been ill. Now my goal is the ultimate natural fertility and sustainable agro-biocenosis."


The beds near Zamyatkin are stationary, 80 cm wide, with aisles of at least a meter. They are born that way. In the first half of June, the lush grass is trampled down. A half-bayonet thick layer of various plant organics is piled on it. And on top - two fingers of the earth. An ideal bed: it will not let out the weeds, and breathes so that it will rot as soon as possible, and the worms have a home. So it lies until the end of summer. In August, cold-resistant green manure is sown here: mustard, oil radish. And in the spring on it - peas, beans, beans: let them additionally fertilize the soil. Fruit change begins with them. And if the soil is good, you can plant both watermelons and potatoes.

Only a flat cutter takes care of the beds, and only superficially. All summer - mulch, in spring and autumn - green manure. The weed problem disappeared along with the empty land. When there is always a dense crop, or mulch, or dense green manure in the garden bed, where can weeds live here when their niche is occupied? And they quietly exist, not claiming to be massive and greyhound.


Zamyatkin introduced into his practice the cleverest technique - the elimination of morning dew. Places simple film screens over the beds. Heat rays are reflected back to the garden - that's it, no dew! Only that which tends to get sick is covered like this: onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes.

Zamyatkin's mulch is the same basis for soil maintenance as green manure

He spends almost no time and effort on the harvesting of organic matter. A thick layer of separately harvested "hay" is used only for special purposes: to create new beds, to stifle weeds, to cover the near-stem circles of seedlings. And on the beds all year round - natural, "green manure".

The technology is simple. In August, some cold-resistant green manure is sown under a rake, and before frost it gives a thick green mass. Without letting her tie seeds, we cut it off with a sharp shovel. It turns out a layer of hay. In the spring, it is three times thinner: it has become denser, partially moused. We rake clean grooves in it, sow and plant in them. The plants stood up, opened up - all the soil was covered.

Winter rye usually does not freeze and starts growing in spring. This "mulch" has to be cut below the tillering node, otherwise it will grow back.

Option: green manure is not cut off, it freezes out, and in April the bed is bristling with straw. Also effective mulch - it will cover from wind and frost. We hit holes or cut rows right in it. Later we break it and put it on the garden bed.


Experiments have shown: excellent potatoes grow under a thick layer of vegetable dust and straw. In recent years, Zamyatkin has been growing it like that. I spread the "seeds" in the garden, filled it up with loose organic matter, helped the sprouts emerge if needed - and filled it all up completely. In August, I raised the mulch - under it there are clean tubers, even directly into the pan.

And here's what is characteristic: wireworms, May beetle larvae and other beetles are not found in mulch. Apparently, they do not risk rising from the soil: too many here are not averse to feasting on them. One way or another, but for many years, under the straw, all tubers are clean, without damage. And you bury it in the soil - many are gnawed.

The rules for organic mulch are simple. Cover the soil as early as possible in autumn - let it live longer and freeze later. And in the spring, on the contrary, first rake the coarse mulch onto the paths: let the soil thaw and warm up.

What gardeners do not cover seedlings in order to take root! And it dries anyway. Zamyatkin, as always, took a closer look at nature - and everything was already invented there. The snow has melted - we sow phacelia. By the time of disembarkation - a covering carpet. We break through the holes and plant. Calm, partial shade - the seedlings are bastard. And frost will threaten - it is easy to throw the film directly onto the green manure. The seedlings began to grow, it became cramped - we cut off the green manure and put it like mulch.


Mulch is a multi-storey and multifaceted concept. Speaking of soil and seedling protection, it is difficult to draw a clear line between a layer of sawdust, dead turf, dry stems … dwarf cedar, shrubs, trees. Forests and steppes are the "mulch" of the planet. Woodlice with worms live and swarm in the forest litter and turf, and in the layer of forests, gardens and parks - we are with you. But imagine that your garden and forest are gouged. “For a month the soil is bare - for a month it dies,” says Zamyatkin.

The principles of the Smart Garden system, or the Garden without hassle in different variations, are developed by many enthusiasts, for example:

Igor Lyadov's amazing garden

Boris Bublik and "Edible Forest"

You need to, you and dig

Popular by topic