In Nature Lady's Garden.
(please be patient whilst the photo's load).
This is the garden bed my son (11) and my daughter (6) helped me to build on the
4th of December from recycled timber that had been discarded as rubbish. It has
mesh over it to keep out our cat.
Digging the topsoil into the subsoil damages the structure and health of the soil and
also brings weed seeds up to the surface. No-dig gardening avoids this. The
organic materials used to construct the different layers breaks down and improves
impoverished soils. It also improves the drainage of clay based soils.
The following is a description of the different layers that I put into my new vegetable
bed (see photos this page).
Layer 1/ woody prunings.
Layer 2/ dry wheat straw.
Layer 3/ rosemary prunings.
Layer 4/ more dry wheat straw.
Layer 5/ mixed manure (aids decomposition of previous layers).
Layer 6/ coarse sand.
Layer 7/ compost from my bins which also contained my worm babies.
Layer 8/ more coarse sand.
Layer 9/ potting mix.
Layer 10/ coir mulch (coconut fibre).
Layer 11/ potting mix.
*n.b. Each layer was approx 5cm (2") deep. Water well before planting out.
Worm farming doesn't need to be overly complicated or expensive. You can turn
just about anything into an ideal worm farm. Mine is a store bought one, however
you just need a recepticle with a false floor through which the worm liquid (wizz) can
flow. You then tap this liquid for use as a health tonic on the garden. For seedlings
1 part worm wizz to 3 parts water and for mature plants dilute half and half. You can
feed your worms anything that was once living. Keep the worms about as moist as
a damp washcloth. Make sure you protect them from extremes of weather, shaded
in summer and in a warm location in winter.
We have two of these compost bins. We put all the garden prunings and waste in
them along with shredded paper. If the worms have enough to eat left over from the
day before we also put the kitchen waste into them. To aid breakdown you need to
keep the contents moist. Composting works best if you try to keep the contents
mixed. If one layer is mainly paper or woody then the next layer needs to be greens.
The bin is sitting in a dip as I dug the sand out from under the bin whilst filling my no-
dig garden bed. This compost bin has an open bottom which enables beneficial
microbes in the soil to help decompose the contents of the bin. Also if you put your
compost worms (red worm or tiger worm) in with your compost it allows them to
move up or down to regulate their own conditions. You know when your compost is
ready to use because it will resemble rich earth and will have a pleasant earthy smell.
You can harvest the bottom layer by lifting the bin off the pile and placing nearby.
You then put anything that is not sufficiently broken down back into the bin. This also
serves to aerate your compost.
The phases of the moon causes the tidal effects of the oceans. Therefore it is not a
giant leap to realise that the phases of the moon also affect all living things containing
water (including people). Here are the basics;
New Moon- Plant leaf plants e.g. lettuce, broccoli, parsley, cauliflower, cabbage
1st Quarter- Plant fruiting plants e.g. pumpkins, peas, corn, tomato's,chilli's,
Full Moon- Plant root plants eg. leeks, beetroot, potato's, carrots etc.
Last Quarter- From now until the full moon don't plant anything. Use this time for
any maintenance jobs around the garden.
|The new moon in Perth occurred early am on the 10th of Dec 2007. I planted my first
seeds at 6pm that day.
This photo was taken on the 22nd of Dec 2007, the same day I planted the fruiting
seeds along the back edge and sides (you can see that I just covered them with a bit
of sand. A few of the cucumbers came up on there own from the compost beneath.