Here's the problem with that plan.....crabgrass. You will say, "well you didn't lay down cardboard first". I did that in the rose bed, and the crabgrass found it's way through it and around it anyway. I figured if nothing else, this amount of leaves would block the sun, helping to keep it in check, as well as adding much needed nutrients and mulch to the clay soil we have on most of the property.
Crabgrass reproduces by millions of seeds just under the first few inches of soil, and the gazillion roots that shoot off in every direction. If you think I exaggerate, feel free to come help me weed, or do a Google search on crabgrass. It is an evil weed, that I never expect to get rid of, but will hopefully control.
After all the work to build that main garden last fall and work it into nice neat rows in the spring, planting, and nurturing, this is the end result:
So, we are going back to a method that, while it won't keep the crabgrass away completely, will allow me to keep it in check much better.
The key to all of this is that I can SEE what is happening. Crabgrass loves heat, so it's at it's worst in July for us, but it's a year round battle. It's more work to do the garden this way, but the key to keeping plants productive for me is keeping that evil stuff in check. And I can't do that if I can't see it or get to it.
One of the major things you need to remember when homesteading, what works for one person, won't necessarily work for you. Like most things, there are self proclaimed "experts" out there, who will tell you that you can only do something one way. Not true. It's fine to experiment, how else will you learn what works or doesn't work for your land, your level of experience, etc? Just be flexible. Know that it's ok to change the way you do things. And have fun! It's hard work, but at the end of the day, it's so worth it.