Exploring Holistic Alternatives

Families practicing: Alternative & Natural Health; Attachment and Mindful Parent

I confess. I have a gardening obsession! Just the mere topic of gardening will mesmerize me for hours and hours. Love to learn about composting, heirloom seeds, square foot gardening, starting seedlings, winter gardens, etc. Etc.

I think I'm going to make some raised beds and amend the soil really well with organic material this year. I need more sunshine on my garden too. LOL

What are you all growing? When are you starting your garden? What products do you love? Challenges? Favorite plants, vegetables, fruits, trees, vines, bulbs, ground covers???

The cold weather has me itching to play in the dirt!

Anyone know where can I get worms to amend my soil?


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I figure the city compost is probably the most "diluted" (due to the volume: trees, branches, etc.), and most concentrated (due to the lawn clippings) source of chemicals. But, I don't know that the other retail sources of compost are much different, and are just as unknown. And may even be the same source as I doubt Blue Max or Hill Sand & Gravel haul compost from great distances.

I'm going to use the city compost and work harder at making my own compost from now on.

Also, I want to add other organic sources such as the horse compost, mushroom compost and hope for the best. I figure it is all better than the (big commercial agricultural) produce alternatives which I buy at Harris Teeter, or (long distance from the vine) organics from Earth Fare.

I have too much garden to use potting soil, though!

What do you think?

Btw, I built TWO raised beds for my garden yesterday, according to Don's instructions in his book. I bought the red cedar, but it is expensive. So I only made them 6 inches tall, since I'm placing them on top of my garden area, which is another 8 inches of decent soil. I'm excited to try out the 'weedless soil' theory.

My garden is in and thriving, with a bit (alot) of encouragement from Anna for me not to dally and wait too long to plant this spring. It is not too late to start yours!! :-) I'm so excited about having organic, homegrown, fresh vine-ripened vegetables in 70-90 days in my own backyard.

I've planted about a dozen tomato plants and pepper plants, some eggplant, basil, and about six types of bush and climbing beans, and pickling cucumbers, plus a 'ground cover' of late mescaline mix and carrots and dill to help deter weed overgrowth. I'm watering religiously with this dry weather. And everything is sprouting along beautifully!! We also made three hills for zucchini, squash, cantaloupe and watermelons. And will plant some pumpkins around the fourth of July.

Any other passionate gardeners?!

I was reading some about the raised bed organic gardening (in which I am very interested for my family to have one this year). It says fill with potting soil. Do you buy organic potting soil?

Laura Lynn
Don Rosenberg, the organic garden guru, advises to use 75/25 compost/sand in a raised bed. This provides *weedless* soil to start your garden. Apparently, most garden mix soil will grow 1000 weeds per square foot, in a growing season!! LOL So, the weedless start sounds fabulous to me! Soil retains weed seeds unless they are destroyed by heat. And they just start sprouting as soon as they have sun and water.

Previously, with my in-ground garden, I used weed barrier cloth, which worked great. But, the soil became compacted each season and needed to be tilled. (I don't have a tiller.) And I don't have a bunch of leaves to amend the soil; so I had to amend the soil with compost each year anyway. This way, we won't walk on the planting soil and I can top dress with the compost that I'm making in my compost bin, or purchase some extra. Plus, we have a worm bin for rich organic nutrients.

Thanks! I just ordered the No Green Thumb Required book and can't wait to get it. Thanks for starting this group, Pat. I have spent all morning just reading about great topics!

Laura Lynn
hi Pat, hope you're ok. Sorry I disappeard for so long, I still have tons of boxes in my new house.
But now I have a garden too, actually a beautiful flower garden. I just got my composte trumbler and I have a couple questions if you could please help me.
- Since you're the one who was talking about worms. Do you know if I have to put worms in it?
- I just ordered Don's book about organic gardening and I was wondering did you have any success for weed free garden according to what Don says.
Yes, my vegetable garden is weed free. :-)

For an outdoor composter, you don't need to add worms, they just magically appear. The compost worms which I have do not survive the heat and cold of our weather. They are "indoor worms". LOL

Congratulations on the new house and gardens!!

thanks, I got a lot to do and learn. I'm so happy we have a garden but it's so much work too. Hope next year I can have my vegetable garden, we'll see
thanks, I got a lot to learn, just started composting.
I got some seeds from a friend who brought them from Greece. I know people say you shouldn't try to plant anything coming from another continent, but she had big success and they have a lot of greens for dinner. I don't know the american name, have never seen them anywhere here, but I'll give it a try. And if I succeed I'm going to bring some in a potluck to try. My problem is she told me I should put manur (ouch, misspelling?) and I was wondering if anyone knows where can I get it. Should I try a farm in South Carolina? Does anyone know ?
Francie probably has plenty of manure. :-)

I don't know Francie is she a member?
ok, just found Francie, now I can't edit my comment, too tired.

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