Sunday, May 29, 2011

Project Garden: Building a Raised Bed and Compost System

Project Garden has kicked off with a bang!  Friday afternoon The Australians swooped in and tackled two projects that I have wanted to start on my own for a while but had no idea what to do: start a composting system and set up a small raised bed for vegetables. The greatest part is that we were able to use materials we already had and didn't have to spend a cent!  You can do this too for free, or at least very cheaply. 

Go ahead; don't keep putting it off like I did. 

As I watched my sister-in-law drill holes in an old trashcan I thought to myself, "Ok, I sooo could have done this.  What was I waiting for?" I just needed that extra push to actually start!  All she was take an old trashcan and drill 1/2" holes all over it (but not in the lid) so that the stuff inside could get some air to break down.  We set it up on some bricks so the bottom could airiate too.  Then we began filling it with all sorts of leaves, broken down twigs, grass cuttings, and newspaper to get it started.

Have I said that I feel like I'm on HGTV?  Because I do.  I'm so thankful that they are here to help me!

 While Carolyn and I worked on making a compost bin, Andrew used some old pallets that we had out by our shed to make the sides for our raised bed.  Literally he just cleaned them up a little and sawed them in half.  They are the perfect size and, again, free!

Carolyn had brought some vegetable and fruit scraps over to add to our compost.  I ran inside and grabbed the coffee filter and grounds from the morning's coffee and we broke down part of a cardboard box.  A system was born!  Now we just continue to add our daily fruit and veggie scraps, paper, egg shells, and coffee grounds together with our yard scraps and lovely composting soil will soon begin to form!  I'm so excited!  (Patrick has always told me that I'm easily amused...)

I wish I could crop myself out of this crazy picture.  The hair...oh, the hair.  It's so bad.  It was humid, people; and I had been working hard.  And I had not changed from the school day before all the excitement began.  Ok, enough about me... LOOK AT MY RAISED BED IN THE MAKING!
We are going to use a method called "No-Dig Gardening" because our soil is not so good.  Bascially we are going to layer and build on top of the soil.  The layers include newspaper, hay or straw, manure/fertilizer, more straw, and good potting soil on top.  We have already secured lots of newspaper (thank you, recycling bins behind Walmart) and manure (thanks to a friend with a few horses and a stable).  This week, I'm going to get some straw and start the layering and planting!

I already started a few herbs and lettuces in some containers with Carolyn's help.
 It's all coming together so nicely and I'm learning so much!

1 comment:

Allie Kier said...

I am very impressed! Can't wait to see how the final product comes together.