My “Get it Done” project for this month was supposed to be a compost bin.
The closest I got to accomplish this project was the big pile of lawn clippings and leaves I raked up earlier this month.
I’ve had the compost project on my calendar for months, and it’s been on my to-do list for years, and yet, when we got to the month of May, I was just completely overwhelmed with a variety of school and work projects. I just simply didn’t have the time (or the energy) to begin researching options and implementing a composting system.
It’s a really lame excuse, I know. The irony of starting a “Get it done” series and then not “get it done” is not lost on me!
So what I have now is a garden of opportunities. Over the next week or two, I’ll be investigating my composting options. I’ll be reading up on how to create good compost, and I’ll start collecting the fruit and veggie scraps in the mini compost container I have for my kitchen counter.
I’m also in the process of designing my summer vegetable garden. I know that I’ll be planting tomatoes and broccoli again, but I haven’t decided what else. The boys started beans from seeds as a school project. I had pretty rotten luck with beans last year, but I think it’s worth trying again. I’m considering green leaf lettuce, kale, more herbs, and carrots. We’re still at risk for frost around here, so I have a little bit more time to decide.
I love wandering through greenhouses this time of year because they are a reminder of just how many opportunities we have to grow delicious food, and beautiful flowers. But I also have to remind myself that I only have a tiny bit of space, and a limited budget.
I’m curious how your gardens are growing. What things are you planting? Do you have any tips for a newbie composter?
Another square foot gardener here. My beans were a fail last year, too, but not because of slugs … more like the rabbit who decided to *live* in my garden and eat them! This year I put chicken wire around a 4X8 garden to keep the little nibblers out of my beans, lettuce, and spinach. (Planted the lettuce and spinach in mid-April and have been harvesting salads for a couple weeks now.) Tomatoes and basil, started from seed indoors, are doing ok but still small. Planted carrots and green onions last week. I also have edamame (soybeans) in a patio container; they’re just germinating.
The best part is that after 4 years of composting, I finally have real dirt to use in my garden. I’m a lazy composter–have a big black bin in a shady area, and I just chuck in veg scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags, leaves, and shredded paper and let it do its thing. I’ve seen compost bins made from shipping pallets. You might be able to get those for free.
Christina Brown says
I definitely want to see if free pallets are an option in my area. It doesn’t look too hard to build bins from them.
I saw a cool article in Birds & Blooms Magazine not too long ago about using cardboard boxes to plant raised beds in. They only last one season, but are a cheap way to get started. Especially if you fill them up with the free compost from the city compost pile. Its even better if you have a friendly neighbor who raises chickens and will give you a bit of used bedding to add in. (Chicken manure is fantastic fertilizer!) Another little garden tip I learned from my father-in-law is to cut the bottoms out of milk jugs and put them over your small plants for the first few weeks. This works great on tomatoes, peppers, broccoli & cauliflower. Leave the lids off so they can get some air and moisture, but the milk jugs act like mini greenhouses for your tiny plants and help them get off to a good start. Just make sure to remove them before the weather gets too hot. Good luck with the garden!
Christina Brown says
Thanks for the tips, Lisa. The cardboard raised bed idea is new to me. I wonder how that would hold up over the course of the summer.