This year with such a new movement going towards organic and whole foods it is no surprise that many of us are gardening in our own backyards. I love watching all these gardens popping up in neighborhoods. A few years ago gardening in a neighborhood would have been a bit of a strange thing but years ago it would have been way stranger to NOT have a family garden. I mean really for thousands of years we humans have had gardens and raised our own food and well….it is about time we take back the control over our food and how it is grown.
All that being said I have several posts on backyard gardening I will be making but figured as with all gardens you have to start with the dirt itself. After all what will your food be growing in? A few weekends ago my friends Beckey and Anne went to a organic gardening class with me at Lavender Fields. We all know the basics of gardening. You put a plant in the ground and pray it grows…right?
Wrong. For all three of us we are dealing with ground that isn’t that great. We live in an area with lovely red/orange clay soil and it can be tough to get grass to grow let alone a garden. Last year we started with four square foot gardens. We learned so much from those little gardens. My herbs loved the location but my tomoatoes hated it. Not enough sun. Wouldn’t you know I had a volunteer tomatoe plant come up beside our back porch and that plant gave us so many tomatoes it was ridiculous! It was an Italian Tomato tree seed I must have dropped when I was putting seeds out last Spring. I realized at that point my little square foot beds weren’t getting enough sunlight.
We learned that your garden needs to receive at least 6+ hours of sunlight a day! So I knew I needed to create new beds on the other side of my yard. So over the last few weeks I have been working on 4 new beds. Each bed is 4′x6′ and I will be practicing organic gardening with companion planting. Companion planting will be a whole other post.
The best part of the class was learning about creating a Cold Compost pile. Basically we took one of last years smaller 4′x4′ raised beds and will use this as our compost pile. The need for rich quality soil is essential to growing healthy, happy plants. Of course I have our worm composting going but with so much gardening going on around here I need more and more! Buying a composting barrel isn’t really an option since I live in a subdivision that would probably slap me with another “naughty notice” if I added that to the mix. But a garden bed they can’t really say anything about.
Daryl surprised me yesterday by fencing around it to keep the dog, cats and critters out of it. Such a sweet hubbyThe fencing will keep out the critters and the black plastic will help speed up the composting during our hot hot summer days and help keep any of the compost with seeds to not germinate.
Things to know about composting:
~Herbs can help to break down your compost pile! Print out this great fact sheet and keep it close!
~ Here is one of my favorite getting started links…
~Do you know all the great thing you can add to your pile?