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Composting: a guide to making compost at home, using compost tumblers, bins & other composters

Composting: a guide to making compost at home, using compost tumblers, bins & other composters
~ Activate your compost. 'Activators' can be added to your compost to help kick-start the process and speed up composting. Common compost activator materials are: comfrey leaves, grass clippings, young weeds, well-rotted chicken manure. ~ Flying insects attracted to your compost? Small fruit flies, especially, are naturally attracted to the compost pile. They can be discouraged by simply covering any exposed fruit or vegetable matter. ~ Unpleasant odors from your compost pile? ~ Is your compost pile steaming? ~ Is your compost pile soggy? ~ Matted leaves, grass clippings clumping together? ~ Problems with raccoons? ~ A moveable feast. ~ Additive only. ~ Take advantage of autumn's bounty.

Backyard Vegetable Garden While it may seem like a lot of work to get the beds established for planting, this can be done in stages. You can start with a small plot and enlarge the garden as time and inspiration allow. Remember, the bulk of the work, establishing the beds, only has to be done once. The best advice we can give is to put your attention to building rich, organic soil. Learning the basics of soil development is not difficult, it just requires some attention early in the season, before planting any crops, and during the season in between successive crop plantings. A well-planned and prepared garden will provide many years of productivity with relatively minimal routine maintenance.

what to compost, what not to Small Scale or Backyard Composting - Cornell Waste Management Institute A significant fraction of the solid waste generated in the United States is organic material that can be recycled through small scale composting. There are many advantages to this strategy of waste management. Households, businesses and institutions may save money by composting items such as food scraps and yard trimmings while sending less waste to landfills and incinerators. In addition, small scale composting is often the most environmentally sound way of recycling organic materials. The finished compost is a good soil amendment for a variety of gardening and landscape uses. Health Considerations. Just as individuals vary in their resistance to disease, a few individuals may be particularly sensitive to some of the organisms in compost. To minimize these potential risks, common OSHA approved dust masks can be worn under dry and dusty conditions, especially when the compost is being turned. Composting in Schools. Home Composting Slide Show. Home Garden Use of Milorganite®.

Adam Brock of Denver's The GrowHaus on Food Justice & Regenerative Agriculture Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis. Waylon chats with Adam Brock of The GrowHaus, a food justice nonprofit in Denver that has become a key hub for Denver’s local food movement. They talk regenerative agriculture, social/food justice, sustainable business in an urban context, seed exchanges and spirals of change. Elephant is psyched to be working in partnership with Google+ on our new live video series, which features three live videos a week (that can be watched later, too). GrowHaus video: Ted Talk on bioregional cuisine: A recent talk Adam gave on his trip to Cuba on “reclaiming the future”: Video of GrowHaus hydrofarm: Adam Brock Adam Brock is a permaculture designer and teacher based in Denver, Colorado. Adam’s background includes a B.A. in Ecological Design from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, a semester certificate from the Ecosa Institute, a Permaculture Design Certificate from Andrew Faust and a Permaculture Teacher’s Certificate from Dave Jacke.

5 Secrets to a ‘No-work’ Garden It took over 20 years of gardening to realize that I didn’t have to work so hard to achieve a fruitful harvest. As the limitless energy of my youth gradually gave way to the physical realities of mid-life, the slow accretion of experience eventually led to an awareness that less work can result in greater crop yields. Inspired in part by Masanobu Fukuoka’s book, One Straw Revolution, my family experimented with gardening methods which could increase yields with less effort. Fukuoka spent over three decades perfecting his so-called “do-nothing” technique: commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and perhaps most significantly, wasteful effort. Here are the strategies we used which enabled us to greatly increase our garden yield, while requiring less time and less work. 1. With ‘no-till’ gardening, weeding is largely eliminated. 2. Gardeners are always on the lookout for free sources of clean organic mulch to add to their garden.

To spray or not to spray? Easy Project: How to Build a Compost Pile Here’s what you need: 1. Carbon-rich “brown” materials, such as fall leaves, straw, dead flowers from your garden, and shredded newspaper. 2. Nitrogen-rich “green” materials, such as grass clippings, plant-based kitchen waste (vegetable peelings and fruit rinds, but no meat scraps), or barnyard animal manure (even though its color is usually brown, manure is full of nitrogen like the other “green” stuff). 3. 4. Here’s what to do: Start by spreading a layer that is several inches thick of coarse, dry brown stuff, like straw or cornstalks or leaves, where you want to build the pile. Continue layering green stuff and brown stuff with a little soil mixed in until the pile is 3 feet high. Every couple of weeks, use a garden fork or shovel to turn the pile, moving the stuff at the center of the pile to the outside and working the stuff on the outside to the center of the pile. You don’t need a compost bin to make compost. Turn kitchen scraps into super-fertile soil!

Vertical Gardening Techniques for Maximum Returns - Organic Gardening Related Content 10 Tips for a Tiny Balcony Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for ... Whether your garden is large or small, you can make better use of every square inch by using vertical gardening techniques to grow upright crops. How Plants Climb Plants that benefit from garden trellises use a variety of methods to cling to support, including curling tendrils, twining stems or, in the case of tomatoes, long, ropy branches that form roots in places that touch the ground. Curling tendrils produced by peas and cucumber-family crops will twist around whatever is available, so you have plenty of versatility when supporting these crops. Twining stems have little use for horizontal lines, so they do best with trellises composed mostly of poles or an upright fence. Tomatoes like to throw themselves over their support. Temporary or Permanent? Crop-Specific Supports Cucumber varieties vary in how well they take to a trellis.

invasive species Garden Know-how: Extend Your Growing Season As late winter days lengthen, resourceful gardeners scurry to collect cloches, erect plastic-covered tunnels and put together a workable cold frame. Using season-stretching devices such as these can add four to six weeks to the front end of your growing season (and many of them will be handy again in the fall). You can make an amazing array of season-stretching garden gear from found or recycled materials, and you won’t have to rely on electric grow lights to get delectable spring greens in time for Easter or have the first ripe tomatoes on your block. Creating season-extending equipment is fun because you’re working with free solar energy. The trick is to come up with simple structures that can withstand strong winds, shed rain and snow, and absorb and store solar warmth for the plants you’re protecting. Try Creative Cloches Before cutting off the bottom of any jug, I make a vee-shaped slit in the top of the handle. Make Terrific Tunnels Make Super-easy Mini-greenhouses — Cheryl Long

power tools Maintain a Weedless Organic Garden Weedless gardening! That’s an oxymoron, an impossibility, right? Well, my gardens may not be 100 percent weed-free, but they are 100 percent free of weed problems. I’ve achieved this happy state in four ways: 1) never tilling or otherwise disturbing the soil, so dormant weed seeds stay asleep, away from light and air; 2) designating permanent areas for walking and for planting to avoid compaction and the need for tillage; 3) maintaining a thin mulch of weed-free organic material to snuff out any weed seeds that blow in or are dropped into the garden by birds; 4) using drip irrigation whenever watering is called for to avoid promoting weed growth in paths and between widely spaced plants. Those are the basics of keeping my garden free of weed problems. A particularly nice aspect of this weedless gardening system is how much it simplifies fertilization. Because most of my gardens’ fertility comes from organic mulches, I tailor which mulch I use to the particular plant’s needs. 1. 2. 3.