Thursday, September 20, 2012

Expanding the gardens!

I knew that I wanted to prepare several more garden beds for the spring.  

On our Saturday morning walk, we went by the garden center and asked about bulk compost.  The owner told us about the annual Lawrence compost sale.  Our city has yard waste pick up every monday morning.  It is a great feature.  They compost the yard waste and sell it for $10/truck load.  It is a great deal!

So, we immediately grabbed our shovels and gloves and headed for the biggest compost pile you have ever seen.

We loaded up the truck and then went home so that Paisley could take a 3 hour nap.

Once she was back up, we bought 4 more straw bales and headed out to the farm!

John unloaded the compost into a pile and then backed the truck up to a pile of top soil from digging the basement.  We did about a 50/50 mix of top soil and compost.  We worked for about 2 hours and everyone had a blast!  Well, John was doing the hard work of shoveling, but I think he had a *little* fun!

We got 4 more beds done with the lasagna method.  We did a cardboard weed barrier, dirt/compost mix, straw, dirt/compost mix, straw.  The idea with the cardboard is that it will smother and kill the grass/weeds below it.  The cardboard will eventually decompose.  Since we do not plan to till the land under, the dormant weed and grass seeds will not be exposed to light and air so they will never germinate.  So the cardboard is temporary, but its benefits are long term.  Or so they say.

 Here, I am standing at the back corner of the house.  I tried to keep the beds close to the house so that they will be in reach of a garden hose.  We ended up moving the closest bed over to the other end of the row.

Here is a close up.  The beds are laid out.  You can see on the far left is our 30 gallon water tank and hose. Then there are 4 leftover bags of peat that I added to the top layer of each new bed.  The black pile is the compost.  It looked like a lot more when it was in the truck!  Fortunately, it was exactly the perfect amount for 4 beds!  On the right are the 4 straw bales that we were robbed for.   Seriously- $9 a bale!?  The feed store was $7/bale, but an extra 20 minute drive.  Yikes.

My helper!

Final product!  #4 is the planted bed from last week.
#3 has 7 chunks of over achieving sweet potatoes that were growing limbs in our kitchen cabinet.
I figured I would give them a chance to make something of themselves!

So, we might have a few veggies this fall, and if nothing else, we will have some beautiful soil for planting in the spring!  


  1. In case you didn't know, sweet potato tips (the tip of the growing vine, its usually a bit redish) make a great addition to stir fry! The 'tators probably won't grow a ton before frost, but they'll make tons of tasty greens!

  2. Had no idea! I will be on the lookout for anything that doesn't get eaten by the bunnies and deer! :)