Gardening Joy

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It is therapeutic for some to garden. I love the way the earth feels between my

fingers, almost as good as the sand at the beach. I do feel digging and pulling

can be such good ways to get your anger, anxiety and angst out. I was hoping

since both Earth Day and Arbor Day are around this time of year, you may not

mind some ‘gardening tips.’

Earth Day is on April 22, 2015.

Arbor Day is on April 24, 2015.

S. Kelley Harrell, author of “Nature’s Gifts Anthology:”

“Regardless of geographical region or culture- -gardening is

perhaps the most common and shared experience of Nature.”

I have mentioned in recycling posts, we used to have a compost pile, while we

grew up in the 60’s through the 80’s. My parents discontinued this practice

when they retired, although they were great at recycling, also using various

parts of stuff that washed up on their beach, to make interesting additions to

their gardens.

Here are some suggestions on what to use for composting:

1. Fruit and vegetable scraps.

(More and more people use the peels for stew and soups,

also eating them off the fruit.)

2. Grass clippings, twigs, leaves and wood chips.

3. Eggshells, broken into small pieces.

4. Coffee grounds, loose tea and tea bags.

5. Unbleached coffee filters, paper and cardboard.

(Reminding you to buy unbleached coffee liners.)

To moisten your compost pile:

Add “green” (plant based) waste.

To dry and reduce moisture in your compost pile:

Add brown waste.

Please don’t use in your compost pile:

Pet waste

Meat and dairy products.

When you don’t have a yard or place to have a garden, you may enjoy a

windowsill box, planters and pots. If you compost, you generally want to

use the waste on outdoor plants. Lovely worms and other insects like when

you have a compost pile.

Composting in multi-tiered boxes:

Multi-tiered boxes are good for people looking for low maintenance but quicker

results than a pile or bin. The average to large household may wish to use this

method. The organic waste works it way downward through the decomposition

cycle, eventually the ‘finished compost’  comes out a door at the bottom.

The smaller bins system, allows the different elements to ‘cook’ faster, being

transformed into a rich, dark compost. Our pile was in the back corner of our

yard, where it was cordoned off with landscape beams. I used to like taking

a garden rake and ’tilling’ and turning the soil over. I liked the way it became

such a great way to fertilize naturally the gardens.

My good friend, Jenny and her husband, Dave, have a store bought compost

bin. This is used on many of their gardens outdoors.

The multi-tiered system has a series of stacked boxes with removable panels,

allowing organic waste to go from the top level down. Some users of this system

report their first ‘batch’ of compost ready to use in only four to six months.

There is one other way to compost, called the Green Cone method:

This is also possible to buy from “Solarcone Inc.” It can handle up to two

pounds of kitchen waste daily, including meat, fish and dairy.

It won’t compost ‘brown waste.’

Users bury the bottom basket in the yard.

Then, adding green waste, from plants and grass clippings, along with an

“accelerator powder” into the cone hole at the top.

The waste turns into water.

Every few years, users need to dig a small amount of residue out of the

bottom, that can be added to the garden.

Here is a plan or action steps to take:

“Don’t waste food.

Reduce your garbage.

Take only what you need from the land.”

~(Anonymous.)

I am not sure of the cost of the Green Cone method, but it sounded

fascinating in its description in the March, 2015 “Natural Awakenings”

magazine.

Do you have any gardening or composting tips to share or add to this post?

I have been away from gardening for the past 8 years of living in an apt.

building but enjoy the lawn and gardens of Ohio Wesleyan Campus, my

own trailing ivy plants and seeing my oldest daughter and my friend, Jenny’s

great efforts to produce lovely vegetables and flowers. My son has a massive

garden, but is one who will start after Memorial Day. It always produces the

right amount of pumpkins in October, too.

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About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

30 responses »

    • I am laughing out loud, Mark!! I am sure you will be so glad there isn’t any white on that gorgeous bright green lawn. Now, what will you do if there is frost? Don’t freak out, because there may be two mornings with white crystals but no snow! Yippee!

  1. Can’t wait to get my garden going this year. There is nothing Bette than growing your own food, working with your hands, and getting some fresh air and sun in the process.

    Two tips I’ve learned recently are that used coffee grounds can be added to your soil and putting Epsom salt under tomatoes before planting helps keeps destructive worms away.

    • I certainly miss having a garden but reap the benefits of my grown children and coworker’s gardens. ha ha! I appreciate these extra tips, since they were new to me, they may help someone else, too!

    • I didn’t know this and am so glad you let me know. I love table scraps which turn into the moist dark ‘loam’ which my Dad liked to call it this. I call it good soil! Smiles, Robin

    • I like your precious fairy garden with its plants and flowers, patio to read and sip iced lemonade or tea on a table and chairs to sit on. I think you featured a photograph and I thought you had a ‘good handle’ on your garden, Beth!

  2. We are avid composters here. We have two bins, Australian red worms, and several piles around the yard. Our gardening class teacher taught us that nothing should leave the yard, except thorns, especially rose thorns, which you should not put in composts. We use our composted soil for all our plants and believe it is one reason why we have success in California, which is really reclaimed desert. The only downside is that sometimes our Labrador senses the ‘food’ in the beds and eats the soil! 😀

    • Oh no, Beth! I am worried about your dog, too. I can just imagine if our dog had been able to reach our compost pile. We didn’t have a fence in our bigger house, we had a post with a chain for the dog, but usually we walked him or her, depending on which period of time we are talking about! I think it is great how you mentioned exactly what you do in your composting and also, glad you mentioned which type of worms. I found lots of complicated articles about this and just tried to ‘narrow it down,’ hoping people, like YOU, would contribute more details. See, I have learned to ‘delegate’ my work in writing here, Beth. Smiles!

  3. I adhere to the gardening adage to feed the soil, not the plant. And the best way to do that is through compost. I compost all my kitchen scraps and yard clippings and then in fall, when the billions and billions of oak leaves fall, we have more than we know what to do with. My husband moved a giant pile into the “way back” with his tractor and now, a few years later, there is some darn good decaying matter in there which we add to the closer compost piles. I just have to watch out for snakes. Mine love the compost area maybe because it’s warmer in there.

    • Thank you so much, Barb for adding your own personal process of composting. I like that you mentioned watching out for snakes, as compost piles can be ‘warm’ from the way the scraps and green clippings almost ‘ferment’ and create warmth. I am glad you mentioned your way back area, too. This is a solution for those piles of leaves, which do take longer to become degraded and turned into compost. I like your mentioning that you can take some of the deteriorating leaf piles’ remnants and add to the closer compost piles. You used ‘decaying’ which is really the best way to describe this process, Barb.
      The soil being ‘fed’ instead of the plant, is such a great adage. “Feed the soil, not the plant.”
      This could be put on gardening gloves or a little sign posted in the garden.
      I was hoping my readers would help me make this a meaningful post, since there are quite a lot of complicated steps and methods mentioned in articles online on this subject. Real advice from my friends is so helpful and nice.

  4. I have a small allotment but sadly no garden now. Last year I did a three layer compost system (kitchen waste, straw or dried plants and soil) in layers and it worked really well. This year I’ve been busier and must admit to just randomly tossing in kitchen and plant residue (which is not working as well). Happy gardening!

    • Claire, thank you for letting us know about your three layer compost system. I am one who used to do composting but it was mainly vegetables and food scraps. We did not use leaves in our compost pile, since I am talking about the olden days of burning leaves in piles. We had a small compost pile, when I was married. But my best memories of tilling the ground and helping to spread the moist, fertile ground into gardens was done with my Mom and Dad. I live in a one bedroom apt. so love my ivy plants, my seasonal mums in the fall, tulips in the spring and sometimes an orchid, which I have nearly killed, from my oldest daughter for my birthday. Smiles, Robin

  5. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    RHE COMPANY I WORK WITH HAD THEIR ANNUAL CLEANUP AROUND THIS NEIGHBORHOOD THE WEEKEND BEFORE EARTH DAY.. THEY GENERALLY HAVE SOME SORT OF CATERED MEAL (USUALLY SUB SANDWICHES) AFTERWARD FOR EMPLOYEES AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO PARTICIPATE. THEY’VE CUT DOWN ON GOODIES FOR THE WEEKEND GUARDS…I WONDER IF THE WEEKEND GUY GOT ANYTHING?

  6. I am an apartment dweller like you, so I do not have a garden of my own. However, I do have a deck that gets plenty of sunshine, so I bought a pot and some soil so I would have a place for some fuchsia starts. I hope they blossom in time to attract hummingbirds this summer.

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