Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spring Work Out

It feels so good to be outside in the sunshine and I'm already feeling my muscles growing too!
My easiest compost ever bin last summer
Remember my post about the easiest compost ever?  I swear by this method!  Everything from fern fronds & grass clippings to egg shells & cilantro stems make it into my compost bin and magically with no mixing or moving, I get a tube full of black gold each spring! 

Now that my tube of compost is ready for use, I just pulled off the wire frame to harvest my black gold. Theres always a layer at the top that is only partially decomposed, but that's ok.  This layer along with all the worms inside of it is removed and placed in the bottom of the empty wire bin where it will jumpstart this years compost.  All the enzymes and microbes that aide in decomposition are already in that partially done layer.

I'm thrilled that I wound up with a lot of ready to use compost!  It was about 8 wheel barrows full of 100% free organic soil amendment! And with no backbreaking work or constant turning.  I just stack it in, water it when it's dry and let mother nature do her thing.  You just can't beat that! Composting is the epitome of the old saying "waste not, want not".
Beautiful black and rich.  Last years waste will
feed the plants that will feed us this year!

If you've been following my spring garden frenzy, then you know that I've run out of room in my garden beds for planting anything else.  Soon Ben will be building me some more recycled beds and bringing home a few yards of 4 way organic soil to fill them, but the sun is shining and I just can't wait.  So I took a look around the yard to see what I might repurpose for planting in some odd shaped areas of my garden where buiding beds would be difficult.

First I found the top half of an old plastic compost bin.  The bottom section had split open and was not really good for anything (that's why I'm not using plastic for my bins).  It seemed like a great candidate for a garden container.  I drug it down to the garden and found a spot for it, next to my ugly but useful recycled laundry bin planter.  I filled it with compost, leveled it out and planted another type of carrots inside.  It might not be pretty now, but it will be gorgeous when those carrots come up!
You never know what might make a good garden bed. 
This container lived it's first life as a compost bin,
now it will get a second life as a carrot planter!

I still had loads of compost, so I took the wire mesh tubes from last years failed potato tower experiment and carefully cut them in 1/2 to form 6 good sized containers.  These would fit perfect in the sloped corner of my garden.
This wire tube tower for potatoes was too tall last year.
That's more like it!  Now these shorter tubes I can work with. 
Each tube became 2 - 18" tall planters.  These are perfect for this spot because I can mold the shape a little bit before filling them.  Then I found some old plastic woven bird seed bags I've been saving for a project and cut those down to line the bottom of each of these new planters.  I cut drainage slashes in the lining and got to work filling each plant tube with compost.
8  loads full!  I highly recommend a 2
wheeled barrow like mine for ease of use.

Eight trips to the back yard with my wheelbarrow and I had created a whole new planting area from recycled and repurposed items I already had!  I love recycling in the garden!  
The mesh planters are full and ready
for seeding.  And now a wasted space in my
garden is going to be a productive.  Yay! 

I decided to go ahead and try potatoes in these again now that they are a bit smaller.  I have several different types of spuds that have sprouted in my cupboards that should work. I placed 3 little papita starts in each tube.  I don't know if they'll all grow, but at least some of them should.  I know potatoes grow in compost bins all the time.

Red, white & russet potatoes from the kitchen get
replanted here  along with an onion and some garlic
centers that need planting.

Oh I almost forgot, each day when the sun is out I'm opening up my boat/greenhouse to get some direct sun on the soil and the plants.  I've also placed my jugs of water strategically throughout to absorb the heat of the sun durring the day.  In the evening I'll recover the boat and those recycled containers of water will radiate the warmth back into the greenhouse. 
Those empty jugs from our ceasars and screwdrivers
become passive heaters in the greenhouse

I bumped into my neighbor Leslie as I was out enjoying the sun. She's also been hard at work cutting back her fern fronds and generously offered them to me for my garden mulch. Thank you Leslie! I think I may have enough fronds to fully line the non-growing areas of the garden now! It sure makes the garden area look nice too. A few hours of work in the sunshine and what a payoff!  I love it! 

Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment

Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear what you think!


Share |
Related Posts with Thumbnails