Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Organic Gardening, does it cost too much? (part 2)

How to garden organically without spending a lot of cash

Recycling your yard and kitchen waste

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my son adding to the compost bucket
Okay, so you have collected your kitchen and yard waste and have built a good compost pile. NOW what do you do with it?  Some people will buy a composting bin.  I use an old trash can with holes in it, for drainage that gets dragged around the yard till full.
( I have had to train the garbage men not to take my yard waste. )
In the past I had my dear husband build me a compost bin. We wisely used old pallets to build it so that the air could circulate around and it.

compost-bins-made-from-pallets
open pallet compost bins easy to make 









As time went on I found that turning a pile this size was not always easy, and in the fall I would outgrow the bin. For  ideas on various methods of composting look here.
I soon changed to the compost pile method and I hid the pile out of view of visitors This worked for a while until I wanted to landscape a new area. So I turned that hillside into a compost pile. After about a year I moved the compost off that section onto a new section of the hillside and started filling in the newly uncovered richly amended soil. I had discovered composting in place. Each year I would move the compost pile to the next area to be landscaped.
turning compost .jpg
open compost pile in an expansion area of garden
Composting in place was an efficient way for me to utilize the compost pile and amend the soil at the same time. . This is also called lasagna gardening.  Patricia Lanza has written a great book on this gardening method.   Lasagna Gardening is not designing a garden for the purpose of making lasagna. It is is in a nutshell the layering of your organic matter in a particular way to build raised beds.  No you don’t need to buy fancy railroad ties to build your beds because you are not filling them in. Your will be building from the ground up.  If you are thinking about starting Lasagna Gardening is a great, easy, cheap way to get started.  If you already garden it is a great adjunct. No real materials are needed, just yard waste and kitchen scraps and you have those already. The best part of lasagna gardening is that you don’t have to wait for the beds to decompose. You can go ahead and plant right in the compost piles. I always have volunteers pop up in my compost piles.


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