Friday, 15 March 2013

Repurposing - Work Smarter not Harder (read lazy gardener)

Slightly disabled at the moment with a crook knee and having missed gardening over the last few hot hot hot long weekends, i was looking forward to getting into the veggie patch today.  One of the long standing jobs is to clean up the corner of the yard which we have reserved for the chicken coop.  This area has become a dumping ground for yard waste - a sort of unstructured compost heap.  Problem is that it needs to be turned over to get some air in and to stop it from becoming a big rotting mess.

Such an ugly mess and I HATE THAT FENCE!!!!

Sounds like hard work and one I'm probably not physically capable of at the moment.

Enter cement mixer!

According to the following link the ideal recipe for compost is 25-30 parts carbon (green) to one part nitrogen (brown).

I added several shovels of our clay (for minerals and water holding properties), bag of potting mix (dark rich airy loam) , chicken manure (nitrogen) and lots of garden clippings (carbon).  I turned it on and left it turn for 5 minutes and hey presto, instant mixed soil.   The clay is now broken down and mixed with the organic stuff.  That i had the vaguest clue what to do is thanks yet again to a course i did with Shoestring Gardening which was sponsored by Wyndham City Council.  Rates being put to good use.

Looks pretty good to me and took very little effort.  I imagine that if i inadvertently put a worm in with the clay it would be rather dizzy by now.

Oh, if you are reading this and I'm doing something wrong which you have learned through experience, please do say so.  I'm drunk with my own cleverness at the moment and might need a reality check but be kind. 

This is where my new soil ended up.  When i first built the beds (yes built not bought) they were filled with solid hay bales and topped with soil.  Over time the soil has settled and the hay has no doubt decomposed so the soil level has dropped considerably.   I cant do much with the whole bed as i have a lovely crop of celery almost ready for harvest right in the middle, so i sectioned off the end and raised this part with the new soil.  I planted a couple of cabbage seedlings, dressed it with hay and put an ant on patrol.  When the celery is finished i can raise the level up in the middle to match and remove the divider.

To make it a perfect afternoon, the heavens opened and its now getting a good drench.

Thanks for visiting Living In The Land of Oz

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