Have I mentioned how much I hated to leave my garden when we moved? It has been a difficult transition from fresh picked, home grown produce to just store bought. On occasion, we pick things up at the farmers market but it is only open on Saturdays which means we end up at the store frequently, especially if we cannot find what we need at the market.
For now, I spend my time watching the light in the yard and mapping out the beds for next year. But as any good gardener knows, a garden is only as good as the soil in the beds and a good bed has lots of organic humus to feed the soil. The first step in my plan was to build a corral for composting. On one of my many recent trips to Lowe’s (no they do not pay me to say these things about them, and they have given me nothing!) I picked up some easy to install no dig fence panels.
True to their name, the support rods did not need to be dug in. The only tool I needed was a hammer. The fence went together pretty quickly and then it was time to start my first pile.
Since I was not removing the lawn first, I applied a heavy layer of wet newspaper first. To start the first layer, I took a shovel full of soil from the area and sprinkled it on the paper. To get a compost pile going, you need the micro organisms present to inoculate it. One shovel full should do it. To this I added a bucket of kitchen scraps-no meat or dairy products, a bunch of small sticks and a nice even layer of dried leaves. The final step was to sprinkle another shovel full of soil over the top and to give it a good soak.
As we work in the yard, we add leaves, sticks and grass clippings and in the kitchen, we keep a bucket to collect things like egg shells, coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable scraps which get added every time the bucket is full. As we add the fresh, green ingredients, we make an effort to add lots of dried or brown ingredients. It will take a good 6 months for this to be ready so hopefully, we will be able to get a good hot pile going!
Be sure to check back and see the progress of my garden project. It is my plan to convert most of our front yard to a garden with an area for a bee hive and if we are lucky, a chicken coop and a few hens.