Monday, March 12, 2012

Early Garden

I want to document my garden /gardening this year.  I have a lot of people who ask me what I do for my garden.  They usually ask when it is in full-swing and then I can't even remember what I did and why.  Also, there is always some issue every year and if it recurs I like to know what I did about it in previous years!  So that's another good reason to document.  Be warned,  I don't do things necessarily the way most people do.

I started some seeds in early March (it is still early March).  I did take some pictures, but that camera is currently battery-dead so I will have to download and explain that in a later post.

Today is a glorious day, so I went out and turned over one garden and planted lettuce.  That is a "cold" crop, meaning it can handle a frost and is okay with cold (although I may put plastic or a fishtank over them to help germinate if this weather doesn't hold out.)  There are other cold crops - peas, spinach, cauliflower. etc. (mostly veggies my family won't eat.)  Check the back of the seed packet and it tells you whether you can plant in early spring before the last frost.

This is the garden that I have NOT turned over yet.

I cleaned out my goat shed this weekend and just plopped the piles in the planting areas of my garden.  The blue tarp is in the walkway.  This is how I compost.  I just stick the poo/hay/leaves/whatever organic material on my garden and ignore it.  I have some older piles from the fall clean out that have been breaking down all winter.

Below is the garden I turned over today.  It looked similar to the above, but the piles had decomposed almost completely into compost.   I turned over what was composted into the soil beneath and then raked the uncomposted material back into 2-3 piles.   Mostly hay that is still mucky.  This is similar to turning a compost pile.  It introduces air into pile and assists the composting process.  Those piles will most likely stay there and then be worked into the soil later, maybe even next growing season.   The piles in my above garden will breakdown quite a bit in the next 2-3 months and I will turn over those and rake up any uncomposted material in that garden in mid-May.

My reasons for composting this way are: 
a) The soil under the compost pile is always the best  and most productive soil.
b) I don't have to build any special structure to hold / maintain the compost.
c) I have so much organic material that I don't have to be selective about where I put it.
d) Turning over the compost is easier because you don't have to reach underneath it. You can just rake it to another area, leaving behind rich soil. 

No comments:

Post a Comment