Saturday, June 4, 2011

My new garden experiment!

Hi, y'all! This blog post is for my friend Dylan, who very kindly sent me a free sample of his Microbe Booster! Dylan is an organic gardener and landscaper in North Carolina.

My new garden is next to my old compost pile. Now I'm not the kind of gardener who does the six-weeks-to-black-gold kind of speedy thing. I'm the kind of gardener who says "what the HECK am I gonna do with all these bazillions of STICKS?!" after the tree trimmer is done and the logs are cut up, and has the fabulous idea to throw them into the as-yet-empty new compost bin. And as the sticks pile up, and pile up, and PILE up, I say to myself with a certain amount of regret and dismay, "Wellllllllllll THAT'S gonna take a while..." and then I throw in what I can, a bag of leaves here, a bag of grass there, kitchen scraps and coffee grounds and last year's jack o lanterns, and let the snow sit on it all winter.

Eventually, the sticks receded below the top of the bin, compressed down until at this point the bin is actually about half full of compost ingredients which we have continued to add to.

You notice I did not say, "compost." I don't honestly know if there IS any compost, lol.... we can't stir the bin for the sticks which someone *furtive look* keeps throwing into it. I can still see the paper plates from last year as well as last week! Although the jack o'lanterns aren't visible now, so that's progress.

So. Now that you are warned about what kind of composter I am, you will understand that this new garden is on the site of the "new" compost pile, which was all the leaf remains and grass remains that got raked out of the yard before my neighbor mowed it the first time this spring. That compost pile sat there long enough to kill the grass--serendipitous, I assure you, lol--and then got moved to the new bins at the fence line.

The grass did not come back. The gardener eyed the space, and waited....

The grass did not come back. The gardener eyed the space, and waited.........

The grass did not come back. The gardener eyed the space, and waited...............

The grass did not come back. The gardener got out the garden claw! And then, yanno, she hired the neighbor to break HIS back tilling up the space and bordering it with concrete blocks. *cheeky grin*So you see the new garden as it begins. Yes, the Big Black Garden Galumpher was considering his Galumphetry. Yes, the gardener was... firm... about the garden being off limits.

No, it didn't work, and I had to smooth the soil out again. *rueful smile* But I digress. What you see here is the garden space clawed up, raked smooth, half a hundred bermuda grass roots and stolons pulled out and tossed willy-nilly on the lawn to dry up and DIE, and the microbe booster sprinkled evenly on the soil. I tried for a rate that was approximately the equivalent of one tablespoon per four inch pot, which used about half the bag. Then I raked it in and started planting: a cluster of Grandpa Ott morning glory seeds in the southeast corner of the bed, to climb on the compost fence; a few sunflower seeds in the southwest corner to shade the bed. Two "Classic" eggplants at approximately the middle of the bed, one each on the east and west sides. Two banana pepper seedlings in the center on the north side, flanked by Giles van Hees speedwell that Gryph rescued from the hardware store sans pot (and I repotted) on May 19. Yellow onion sets along the southeast and southwest sides, and "Frijole" pinto bean seeds all across the middle of the bed behind the peppers and speedwell. Garden purslane seed in the center of the bed.

Here it is, planted and watered. What an effort it took on this doggoned hot dry day!

You can see the plants better in this shot, the two eggplants and the speedwell, plus a bonus shot of the bulging compost pile fence. The peppers may or may not grow. At this point they are an entire MONTH old and yet have never done more than get their seedling leaves, so if anything happenes, I will DEFINITELY think it's due to the Microbe Booster! I had four more pots of them and when I realized that many pepper plants wouldn't fit in this garden, I decided to get all experimental about them. Two are now dusted with Microbe Booster, and all four have been watered again. I have no idea where I fit in four more pots of pepper plants--especially since I have two hot pepper plants to put in also!--but hey, at this point I will be surprised if they live at all, so I think they're a good candidate for the test.

Because I am so desperate for garden space, I've decided to use the compost pile as a raised bed, so I watered it. The run off filtered down through the pile and into the New Garden Experiment; the water was dark! I find that quite an encouraging sign. Maybe somewhere down in there, somewhere in the middle of that pile, compost is slowly happening after all! Tis a good and hopeful sign for whatever I plant in it.

The Big Black Garden Galumpher has come to lick my elbow and wag his tail, and gaze at me endearingly out of his big brown soulful eyes. It's suppertime for dogs. Good night to you all, and may you find new dreams to bring to fruition as I hope to bring my mine to frui---er--vegetablition?


  1. Well that is certainly an interesting way to make 'compost tea'. Try something vining in your compost bin like cukes(if you eat them) as they tend to grow fast, and would probably love the composting pile to grow in.

  2. Cukes are already in and growing along the fence in the other garden; I was thinking cantaloupe, actually, or watermelon. Cantaloupe usually does well in a compost pile, especially if it sprouts from the seeds you already threw in there... and SOMETHING is sprouting now that has a verrrry familiar look to it. I may not have to plant after all!

  3. Oh for pete's sake, WHAT is wrong with Blogger? It won't keep me signed in even to make a comment... the above "anonymous" was me.


  4. The garden is looking nice Cath, may you harvest all the goodness you sow. HUGS

    That Bear

  5. Our garden is dormant now, tho we havent had any frosts yet. I will keep reading your blog and maybe it will get me all motivated to keep gardening. Well done, its looking good

  6. {{{{{{{{{{{That Bear}}}}}}}}}} Thank you darlin!! And welcome to Blogger!

    Louise, it's funny... you know how I was all gung ho on snow the last three years, but this year I could not WAIT for Spring so I could garden... and now that you have reminded my that my favorite season (Autumn) is coming, I'm quite bereft! *shocked look* Who knew THAT feeling was inside me? lol!!



So... what do you think?