Use summer grass clippings, weeds and vegetable peelings for compost now. Today more than ever, gardeners must be in tune with the environment. We must strive to appreciate the fragile nature of our surroundings and help to restore a balance in nature by sound, natural gardening practices.
From that basil plant in a pot to a full kitchen garden, gardens run the gamut in size, shape and content. But one thing they should all have in common is a commitment to Mother Earth. Gardeners must be keepers of the earth, protectors of the environment and certainly links to all of gardening history. We carry a tradition set by both poet and peasants, one that strives to best improve the plot in which we tend and grow plants for use and delight. Literature from the ancient Greeks, Romans and Persians lauds the good bucolic practices of the environmentally sensitive gardener. Even then many of the intellectual were keepers of the earth and had beautiful gardens. Later in history the monks of the Middle Ages kept alive the gardening knowledge of those high points in bucolic life and once again became stewards of the earth. We can learn much from this gentle community of gardeners. They were aware that gardening refreshed the troubled spirit, but that also good gardening refreshed the earth.
It is so important to tend the garden with the thought of improving the soil and replenishing, not ruining resources.
|Heirloom tomatoes love compost and beneficial fungi will consume fungi which are detrimental to the tomato plants allowing you to garden naturally! |
Replenishing the soil is of utmost importance. Begin by making a compost pile in which all organic materials from both house and garden are stowed so that they might best decompose. Compost is very beneficial when added to a garden as it provides nutrients to plants in a slow-release, balanced manner which the plant needs to grow, but it also improves the health of the soil for the long range.
Clay soils need this as often as possible to aerate them so that they don't pack and sandy soils benefit as the organic materials help retain moisture. The best thing of all about compost is that making it uses up all those leaves and grass clippings as well as kitchen scraps and will insure that what is taken out of the earth goes back. The process can be as simple as a heap behind a shed, a ring of chicken wire that can be moved from spot to spot or an elaborate gadget ordered from a "slick" garden catalog. We have even made large piles using four pallets, tied into a square, with one side removable for turning the pile.I have a small ring of wire just inside by garden gate where i can dump the weeds i pull in the garden or add vegetable peeling. I usually give most ot the chickens and they recycle them for me. This manure makes the compost pile 'work' even quicker.
Some folks follow certain rules for making compost, other just wing it, but just remember that you need to create a good environment for allowing decay-producing microorganisms to break down the materials. Some folks say your need four ingredients that are layered and turned. This is a common recipe found in many garden books:
4 parts brown ingredients (dry leaves, dry grass, shredded newspaper, straw)
1 part green material (fresh grass clippings, weeds, trimmings and kitchen scraps, barnyard manure)
Water when dry
Air for oxygen (turn pile to aerate)
These are just suggested amounts. I just dump what I have and hope for the best. Our chickens run free all day, often aerating the pile for me, but when they roost in the coop at night, they provide us with piles of droppings that really aid in the compost process. If your compost just sits, add some fresh manure and be sure to turn the materials and water. Smaller piles are easier to mange for most gardeners, so start a couple if you have lots of leaves and other materials. Start now so when the leaves in fall come down you will be ready to make a second pile. Remember, the best time to start is now, don't put it off. Summer peelings, grass clippings and weeds are all you need. Happy summer gardening now!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with garden questions. call or email now to reserve a spot in our'FRee' Garden Walk and Talk at 9 AM on Saturday july 23. Refreshments included/
July 23 at 1 Floral design class/ arranging your garden blooms in a rustic watering can.