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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.
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Edible Flowers in Your Garden
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Riding Lawn Mowers
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How to Build a Shed
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Escape to Sunny Mexico - at Home!
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Seeding Flowers Indoors: An Inexpensive Way to a Beautiful Summer Garden
Every year you plan that THIS will be the year you have pots and pots of lush plants on your balcony or deck. Then you visit your local nursery in the spring and reality hits -- the cost for your fantasy is just outrageous! Sound familiar?But you can have the planters of your dreams at a fraction of the cost and with a choice of varieties far beyond what the local garden center offers.
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.
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Gardening - An Expression
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Feeding the Hummingbirds
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A Couple of Good Places to Buy Lawnmowers
After much searching and deliberation, I finally bought a lawnmower of the Internet. This is not the sort of item that I would normally buy on the web, but am happy that I did so.
Planning a Vegetable Garden
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When you want to create a beautiful and functional landscape, the task may be overwhelming. Before the first shovel of soil is turned, close your eyes and picture your dream garden.
Three Stumbling Blocks to Growing Grapes in the Backyard
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