We compost all our kitchen waste, the animal (donkey, dog, chicken) poo, old hay and animal bedding, and yard scraps. If it will break down, I compost it. I use bales of straw, formed into a square, to hold the compost. I line them all up, as I need more boxes, so it looks like a row of squares down the fence line. Once I get one box filled up, I move to the next one. When the straw breaks down, I mix it into the compost and get new bales. They are about $7 dollars here. Every week, when I scoop poop, I turn the beds and if they need water, water them down. In a season, I have many wheelbarrows full of compost. We spread it on the lawn, give it away, and mix it into our gardens.
Since we’ve moved, and built new beds, we have to get new dirt to go in them. Dirt is EXPENSIVE! We found out that we won’t be using the special square foot garden blend, after filling one bed cost about $250. A friend told me about lasagna gardening, so we are trying a variant of that. We put a thick layer of shredded leaves on the bottom of the beds, then a layer of wood chips and shavings from the wood pile where Hubs and Stinky chop up all the wood, and then all the compost that we had that was ready. This filled the beds about halfway, and Hubs is taking the truck next weekend to buy a truckload of garden soil for the top layer. This should cost much less, especially since we now have the beds almost half full.
The next step is to build a small barrier fence around all the beds, since puppy Ruth finds the garden the perfect place to dig. She’s already messed up all the greens and kale and such that I planted in the first bed, and a good portion of the potatoes and onions. So, I’ll have to start again after puppy proofing the area.
We should have all this done in time to get a nice start on spring planting, which for us is around mid-March, although I frequently start in early March with no ill results. I’m so ready for green things and warm soil. It’s been a weird winter here. Yesterday was sunny and warm, and the feel of the grass on my bare feet was delicious! I love the promise of Spring, and am so excited to get started growing things at our new house.