Oh Happy Day…for Mothers and Gardeners!

Happy Mother’s Day to any and all of you that ‘mother’ or have ‘mothered’.¬† ūüôā¬† It is not an easy task though it surely can be one of the most rewarding – kinda like gardening, huh?

And now…as promised…(drum roll, please):

AFTER - Lasagna Garden ©May 2011

Ta Daaaaaa!!!¬† My first round of planting is complete and, as if to¬†bless my efforts, the Good Lord has provided a slow, gentle¬†rain during the night, as well as¬†periodically throughout the day!¬†¬†¬†Though you cannot see them yet, the horizontal row in front will be my Mountain White Half Runners.¬† The bamboo poles and twine will serve as a trellis system for support and easy picking.¬† The plants transplanted from my Aerogarden seem perfectly happy in their new surroundings and have actually perked up today.¬† I do believe they are appreciative to have nature’s watering system provide them with a drink.

I will post updates as things progress here on the¬†Sweet ‘T’ lawn.¬† But for now I am happy to enjoy the day with my children who have come home to spend time with their Mother.¬† Isn’t life grand?¬† I am truly blessed!

Planting Day in the Piedmont

Good morning, my friends!  Guess what today is based on Mr. Almanac?  It is the blessed day you get to plant your summer garden.  I am so excited I can hardly contain myself!!!  Needless to say this will be a very short post as I must get started planting.

Since our last ‘chat’ I decided to add yet another row to my edible landscape.¬† I know…I know…I really need a farm.¬† ūüôā¬† Regardless,¬†I must work with what I have right now and I am working it GOOD!!!¬† I now have five rows, an area around my mailbox and an area around my lamp post.¬† Today I will be planting tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, peppers, okra and green beans.¬† My mouth is watering just thinking about it and remembering the deliciousness from last year.¬† Here is a picture of my bounty from one morning last summer:

Deliciousness...© 7 2010

Three rows, folks…just three rows of veggies produced approximately this much every single day.¬† It was amazing and the reason I am chomping at the bit to get outside and get started on this .¬† So…here is your “BEFORE’ picture:

BEFORE © 5/7/2011

¬†I will post my “AFTER” picture this evening or in the morning dependent upon my level of exhaustion. ūüôā¬† I¬†hope you all are doing the exact same thing today or tomorrow.¬† If not, the next good days for planting above ground crops are Saturday, May 14th and Sunday, May 15th¬†.¬†

Bib overalls on?  Check!  Coffee in hand? Check!  Gabe and Bailey (my Goldens) requesting their collars?  Check!  Well then, it must be TIME to get outside and get started!  Whatever you are doing today Рenjoy!  I know I surely will~

What to Compost and What not to Compost…That is the Question

Hopefully, over the past several days, you have been able to work on building/attaining your compost containers.¬† If not, I highly recommend that you do as soon as possible.¬†The process of breaking down garden and kitchen waste by heat, microbes and other soil-dwelling creatures takes T…I…M…E!¬† It is my humble opinion that every organic garden should have at least one compost pile due to the improvement it affords the soil in its broken-down state and the fact that it is a sustainable approach to soil enrichment.

Alrighty¬†then…you have your compost container/heap…what do you put in it???¬† Here are the yays and the nays based on one¬†of my resources,¬†Organic Gardening (Christine & Michael Lavelle):

Good Compost Materials:

  • Animal Manure (not pet waste)
  • Fallen leaves
  • Grass/lawn clippings
  • Hay and straw from organic farms
  • Kitchen waste
  • Prunings from the garden
  • Sawdust
  • Shredded browns
  • Soot and charcoal
  • Spent hops or cocoa shells
  • Spent mushroom compost
  • Weeds and other garden wastes

What not to compost:

  • Chemically treated wood products
  • Diseased plants
  • Human or pet waste
  • Meat, bones and fatty food wastes
  • Pernicious weeds

There are basically two kinds of composting; the “cold pile” method and the “hot pile” method.¬† I have shown you one of each as any good teacher would do :), (see previous post, Composting).¬† The black compost barrel would be considered a “hot pile” method of composting because it is covered and conserves heat.¬†¬†The materials in the barrel normally¬†break down rather quickly due to the heat generated inside by being black and enclosed.¬† The outside bin on the corner of our lot is an example of the “cold pile” method and can take up to a¬†year to¬†reach compost status.¬† Both¬†are fun and equally satisfying methods of home-produced compost.

As you travel on this gardening/composting journey you will hear/learn all kinds of terminology and your gardening knowledge will blossom and grow.¬† It is really quite simple and the benefits are….well…..delicious!!!!¬† Until next time…