Last year was my first attempt to organically grow a garden. I had minimal sucess. This year I want much better sucess and the key this year will be space. Last year I placed veggies that probably needed alot more room to grow in containers, so I had tiny veggies. This year I want to do a raised bed garden. Last year I only used soil, peat moss and tea and coffee grinds. I don't consider manure to be organic, my personal belief, but I want it completely organic and able to feed myself and my daughter. I probably will have to order enough soil since buying it probably won't do. Anyone else thinking about gardening organically? How are you going to do it? Are you going to use kitchen scraps, coffee grinds etc? What are you going to plant?
I am blessed with already having landscapers logs, you know those long ones and I already dug out a squared area in the ground last year that I didn't use because it had fireants and slugs and I felt if I put poison in the ground it would be in our food. So I planted in pots.
But what I'm going to do is put tarps down on that earth and put the logs around in a square and put peat moss and soil in it and build it up into a raised container garden. I wish I would've thought of it last year. But, I am going to use no pesticides and have everything as fresh as possible.
I've been looking up things today, appearing there are 'green manure' options. I just can't use animal manure, just for me personally. My mother grew an organic garden when we were kids. She didn't know it was organic but she used no pesticides, no manure, she just prayed over her garden, and I prefer it that way. Green manure can be buckwheat, wheat, winter wheat, peas etc. These are plants that you grow to fertilize your crops. But, I'm still looking into maybe a dry green manure like adding dry ground buckwheat to store bought soil. I know coffee and tea grinds added nitrogen naturally, so I wonder...
I've never used pestisides on my garden and "compost" most of my kitchen scraps (no meat). I used to have a real compost pile and turn it but found I really didn't have the time to do it correctly so now I just dig a hole and dump the scraps and coffee grounds in and cover it up.
The last few years in an effort to reduce the need to weed & water I've put newspaper down in the rows and between bigger plants. My shoes dont get muddy as I walk on the newspapers while picking my bounty and doing the occational weeding.
Grass and leaves are a great way to add nutrients back into the soil plus they also can help hold down the newspaper.
I worked really hard yesterday...making my garden so I can add scraps to the soil before planting season. See, I dug out last year a square but would have to blast it with chemicals to kill the slugs and fire ants that were in the soil, so instead I planted in containers with some minimal success. This year I decided to make a raised container garden so they could grow better. Well, it didn't take long to make it. I actually used what I already had...I took four landscaping logs and put them into a square, I took some bricks and laid it inside the square on the ground, then I took some scrap wood that I had and laid it on top, I also used Lea's old chalkboard and laid it on there, then I took a tarp and an old blanket and laid it on top of that, then I started spreading out the two bags of soil I had from last year-(its naturally organic soil I buy with no manure, pesticides etc.). Then I took all of my pots from last years garden which I left outside all winter on the ground and on the back porch, many had worms in them, and we dumped it, with leaves mixed in and filled in the rest to create our base. I had bought some seeds at the dollar store and bought a little garbage pail that is table top to use as my kitchen composter. So now I can throw the scraps in there. There gonna start having great deals at the local hardware store with 40 lb bags of organic soil for like $1.99 so I'll watch for those sales during the next few weeks and will start adding my scraps and turning it.
I'm sore but I did it and now I have a raised garden, because its actually in a squared out area you wouldn't know that its not actually sitting on the ground but on bricks and wood...and a chalkboard-lol. Here's some pictures of it...
Patrice, I hope all of your hard work pays off with delicious, healthy vegetables this summer. I am itching to get a garden started but am unsure of where we will be living this summer. Our house has been on the market for 3 months now. We are about to relist it, but only for 60 days. If it doesn't sell by then, we are going to stay put. Luckily, we will still have plenty of time to plant at that point as our last frost danger doesn't come until mid-May. We do already have 3 raised beds. I am starting my plants indoors this weekend from seeds - tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, rosemary, basil, oregano, and dill. I am also going to try corn, carrots and potatoes, none of which I have ever grown before. If we actually sell the house and move, I will take all the pots with me and plant them in the new garden. Of course, that will involve digging out three new raised beds. DH will not be happy - lol!
Yeah, we don't plant until after memorial day. I'm gonna get some soil either today or tomorrow and start some seeds. I enjoyed my container garden last year in the pots, I think by continuing transplanting them to bigger pots I think I shocked them too much. I did have great success with my tomatoes-(though not as big as I'd like) and hot peppers. My other veggies never grew. But, thats a good ideal to keep them in that and maybe plant them at the new house if you move.
Patrice....How big is the garden. Good idea making a raised bed. How deep will the soil be? Does it have good drainage?
My spaghetti squash is growing real good. Just made a hill and took spaghetti squash seed and put them in a circle. My tomatoes are doing real good too just from the pieces of tomatoes that I put in the soil. I don't have much room for a big garden but two small gardens on each side of the house mixed with flowering bushes works for me.
__________________ *~*~ The secret to happiness is not to get what you want, but to want what you already have.~ *~*