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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Do you have a compost pile? I'd think you would have plenty of worms in those woods. Load up a bunch of kitchen scraps and mulch directly on the ground, and you'll attract them and can scoop them up and put them wherever you want. At least, this would work in Iowa, I'm not sure about here!
I was just thinking that under my pile of debris and kitchen scraps may be some lovely compost. It is a "relaxed" compost pile. LOL I just add all plant matter there. But, do not DO anything to it.

I'm going to hunt for the rich dirt under there. I bet you are right about a bunch of worms living there too.

Well if you have an over abundance of worms I could take some off your hands I have NONE and it upsets me. I am going to have to buy some this year. I have been starting to think about my garden also. I just got a seed catolog in and love looking through it. I got a great link to a lasagna garden website that looked interesting and I may try that in another area of my yard. I can't wait to get out and start preparing for the season so I really do share your obsession.
Our ground is very hard clay. I guess it is the pine needles (slow to break down). And since we are in a low spot, the top soil runs off. I don't think I have worms anywhere.

Except, when it rained recently, we had hundreds of worms on the driveway. We collected about 30 and put them in a jar with some potting soil. They are very happy there! Maybe we'll do that regularly and add them to the garden.

So, you might check the cement areas near your house when there is a heavy rain for more worms.

But, I'd definitely pay some thing for a few pounds of worms. The worms in our indoor vermiculture won't survive. But, I've considered add them in the spring and just getting new worms. That seems a bit cruel though. I'll ask at Renfrow Hardware next time we are there about purchasing NC worms for the garden.

I think that Anna did a lasagna type garden to amend the soil. Not sure exactly. How does that work? (off to google) Ok, this sounds great: http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf582744.tip.html

I've wondered about getting the city compost, which is supposed to be really cheap. But, when we went to Blue Planet, they said the sludge and chemical excess from the city water recylcing plant was taken to the city compost. :-/

And I can't imagine lugging tons of horse compost, in my car! LOL

It sounds like peat moss or "coir"?? is needed for the lasagna gardening to make the soil loose. I probably need to add lime! I haven't done that the past two years and my garden has suffered. But, then I worry about using chemicals...

Did you hear about the "green sand". Don Rosenburg the Organic Garden guru told us about it previously. Gosh, the garden did great the year I added that! http://www.planetnatural.com/site/greensand-soil-amendment.html

I thought this was a good recourse.

I am currently contemplating a vegetable garden for the spring but I am intimidated by it but very excited!

Is there a concern about using newspapers (for the lasagna garden--which looks very cool) and any toxicity?
I found this information:
seems like it safe...

I love Mother Earth News. It's one of my favorite magazine.

Just start small with your garden. I use the weed block paper, it makes it so easy. Each year you'll be expanding :)

I can't wait to put some things in early in February.

woops, I spelled recourse instead of resource!

so do you use weed block paper in the lasagna style garden or in your raised flower beds?

can't wait to learn more!
what will you plant in February?

I love Mother Earth News too!
I have a standard 20 x 40 foot in the ground garden, it's been around since 1990. I have added some perennial raised beds to the side of my garden and in some other spots in the yard.

I use the paper in my main garden. It is just the easiest way to avoid weeding. I know some people don't mind but it is the one thing that stresses me about gardening. Weeds just take over if I don't have the weed block. It also makes it easy to walk in garden and harvest.

In February, I'll plant peas, different greens, asparagus (starting that bed FINALLY) and maybe some broccoli if I can find some. I'll just see what Renfrow's gets in and go from there. I plant my summer stuff around mid to end April, usually. (Tomatoes, beans, squash, eggplant, BASIL, dill, pickling cucumbers, asian cucumbers, melons, etc. )

Last year wasn't great with drought conditions early then heavy rain, so hopefully this year will be a bit better. I've planted a lot of fruit this year too.

Hoping to get some bees to help with pollination. I'm heading to Bee School in a couple of weeks :)


I'm so excited about spring but am enjoying this snowy day too!

Don Rosenberg has a new book out "No Green Thumb Required! Organic Family Gardening Made Easy" and the goal is to show people how they can have a garden in their back yard that's so easy, even a busy family can do it as a fun project. There are 25 different mini-activities for kids.

Slow food is all about helping people eat healthy, fresh food, and a back yard garden is an easy way to go. Involving children means we'll have thousands of kids growing up with the experience of growing their
own vegetables.

He is selling the book on his website

Here are some links...

table of contents...

He is doing a radio show Saturday morning on 660AM from 9am-11am. He is also doing book signings at Barnes & Noble near South Park on January 24th from 10am to noon and on February 7th from noon to 2pm.

"Exploring Holistic Alternatives" is hosting Don this Sunday, Jan. 25th, 2-4pm at Earth Fare's Community Room (Ballantyne) to learn more about Organic Gardening. Everyone is welcome to join us!

Bee school! I can't wait to hear how your class goes!

I am getting very inspired to garden.
Thanks for the info Anna.

Did you ever find out anything more about the city compost? Don made it sound like it was fine to use, but I am still sceptical. If nothing else, folks treat their lawns and then send the waste there so I'd think the compost has to be full of chemicals, right? Have you found any local sources for peat-free potting soil?


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