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Composting - aka: The Circle of Life!
Composting is where the gardening thing comes full circle. You've created your garden bed, you've nurtured your plants.
The results have been eaten by the family...and now the plants and refuse from the garden can be recycled into next year's compost. It is the closed loop of nature.
This is so simple and so obvious a thing to do, I'm still staggered that people will send this sort of rubbish to the tip.
When I was totally intimidated about cooking and convinced I couldn't do it, a friend of mine said 'It's just chemistry. If you add X to Y under these conditions, this MUST happen'. I think this applies big time to composting.
So what does your compost need to work?
It needs moisture (but not too much).
It needs heat (and will generate a good deal on it's own)
It needs air.
It needs bugs, bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms (pretty much under the 'Build it and they will come' principle)
There are a few ways to work the compost. If you have a bit of room, build a couple of 3 sided enclosures (about 1M square) out of wood, wire, tin, whatever is laying about the place. If you're in a place that gets a lot of rain, think about keeping a tarp handy so the compost heap doesn't get too soggy. It should be in a shady corner of your garden.
Composting doesn't work if you continually feed just one pile. The composting is never finished in those circumstances. So start with one pile by adding waste plant and kitchen refuse. This can include grass clippings, spent plants, fruit peelings, egg shells and non fatty kitchen scraps.
NEVER use fat, oil or meat in your compost. They will attract vermin. Other things that will slow down your compost include paper, rice hulls, wood shavings, woody cuttings and tough or oily leaves (like those from evergreens). Diseased plants and weeds should also be kept out of your compost.
Fill the compost enclosure to 6-8 inches (15-20cm) with your refuse. Then spread a couple of scoops of agricultural lime and a handful of complete fertilizer. Continue layering to a height of about 3 feet over time. Every few weeks, turn the compost to encourage decomposition. If the compost material is dry, give it a light watering after turning.
Start your second pile while this one is 'cooking'.
Your compost should be ready for the garden in 6-8 weeks. By continuing to alternate between the two piles, you will have a continuous supply of fresh garden compost for your garden beds while recycling your kitchen refuse.
Judy Williams (http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com) splits her time between being a media executive and an earth mother goddess. No Dig Vegetable Gardens represents a clean, green way to grow your own food. The site covers all aspects of growing, cooking and preserving your harvest.
A Garden Bench: A Beautiful Addition To Any Garden
Okay, so you have spent hours upon hours creating the perfect garden. You have chosen only the choicest flowers, agonized for days over their placement, and even bought that much too expensive antique statue to set it all off. Now that it is finished, you know that you have created something truly special, something that is unique, and a place in which you could see yourself relaxing after a long, hard day. The only problem is: There is nowhere to sit and relax, no vantage point from where you can absorb the peace and beauty that all of your hard work has brought you. Do you know what you need? A garden bench.
Chives - Allium Schoenoprasum
Known as common garden chives, Allium schoenoprasum, can be grown indoors and out. Chives are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, and calcium. They are grown for the flavour of their leaves, which is reminiscent of onion, although much milder. Both the stems and light purple flowers are used in cooking and the snipped leaves are an addition to many dishes. Chives lose their flavour with long cooking so it is best to add them to dishes at the last minute. For chopping stems, a pair of scissors is the best tool.
Building Liner Ponds
Surprisingly enough, it is usually in mid-summer that many gardeners begin to think about installing a small pond or water garden. Ponds don't need to be weeded or watered, and they can supply exuberant color in the form of water lilies and bog plants.
How To Plan A Garden Right
Gardening is a hobby that brings joy, entertainment, and a better quality of life. It is a creative activity, the result of which is a more aesthetically appealing home.
History of the Adirondack Chair
If you were to travel to Blue Mountain Lake, New York, you would come across a very unique museum called the Adirondack Museum. According to experts that run this museum, the Adirondack chair originally went by a different name - Westport chair, which was after a small nearby town nestled in the Adirondack Mountains. Thomas Lee first created the design of the Adirondack chair in the early 1900s. Determined to develop a chair that would be appropriate for both indoor and outdoor use, as well as a chair that was highly comfortable, he started to work using standard boards and nails.
How to Grow Strawberries
In addition to the traditional strawberry patch, there are as many ways to grow strawberries as there are to eat them! Grow strawberries in a bed, hydroponically, as a ground cover, as an ornamental patio plant, or in a hanging basket.
Marjoram: The Herb of Happiness
Called the "herb of happiness," Origanum majorana, commonly known as sweet marjoram or knotted marjoram, is an herbal symbol of peace and well-being. Marjoram is grown as an annual in the colder parts of the world but is perennial in warmer regions. To keep it growing as a perennial, bring it indoors for the winter. Marjoram may be grown as a houseplant and as it has a tendency to trail when grown indoors, it makes a nice hanging basket. Marjoram has small, grey-green, oval-shaped leaves that are velvety to the touch. Tiny white or pink flowers, reddish stems, and the grey-green colour of the leaves make marjoram an attractive border plant.
Mole Traps: Can You Use Them?
Mole control is one of the most complicated problems that can face a gardening enthusiast.
Hills and Holes: Not Part of Your Landscaping Design?
Do pests 'gopher' your lawn? Chances are, if you have a lawn, you risk the chance of having pests, such as the gopher and his cousin the mole. And, perhaps even those pesky six-legged creatures- ants and other insects- call your grass patches home. Why are these animals and insects attracted to your lawn? And, what can you do to stop them from burrowing and nesting? Those answers and more will follow in this article.
Orchids Plus More Newsletter - December, 2004
Newsletter Name Change?
Choosing Pond Plants
A pond without plants is like cake without icing. Pond plants fight algae, give fish a hiding place against predators, and beautify our own little slice of paradise to plunk down in at the end of a tiring day.
How to for Lawns ? Mowing
How often you mow your lawn will depend on a number of factors. Firstly how much time you have to devote to your lawn's maintenance. How fast your lawn grows, and this in turn will depend on whether you fertilise it regularly and whether it receives adequate water and sunlight. Normally, lawns should be mowed at least one a fortnight to keep them in check, so to speak.
Fall Garden Chores for Spring Flowering Bulbs
As the school busses begin to rumble down the road again we are reminded that the gardening season is drawing to a close. For the gardener with an eye toward next spring, however, the season still promises plenty to be done in preparation of a showy spring to come. Early fall is the time when we should be planting our bulbs.
A Garden Pond in Your Landscape - Want Water in Your Yard?
A Garden Pond in your Landscape - Want Water in your Yard?
Teak Patio Furniture Is The Perfect Choice For Your Terrace
You have spent hours of time and quite a lot of money on getting your back yard just right. The trees are lush and green, the flowers are blooming and everything looks beautiful. The only thing missing is somewhere to sit down and enjoy your beautiful yard.
Mulch Your Spring Bulbs In The Fall For A Beautiful Spring Display
Flower bulbs need a good, long, winters sleep. Like some people we know, if they wake up before they are fully rested, they get kind of cranky, and then they don't bloom well at all.
New for 2006 - Granite Flexible Preformed Rock Ponds
Traditionally, preformed ponds are large shells, which are extremely burdensome and difficult to transport. For example, a typical preformed pond kit would come in a box that is 60" x 48" x 24", which is too large for many car trunk sizes. Liner kits, on the other hand, present many difficulties for the beginner pond gardener. Since every liner pond shape is different, pond gardeners must customize their own pond and ensure that it is level, and that it does not have excessive wrinkling.
The Perfect Porch Swing
There is a magical quality to porch swings. In his summertime classic Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury describes the "ritual of the front-porch swing."
September Gardening Tips
Well it is now September, and the mornings are great aren't they? It is now beginning to be the best time to plant trees and shrubs. It is a great time because the above ground temperatures are dropping and the below ground temps are still warm.
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