Thursday, June 27, 2013

5 lessons learned from a beginners try at composting...

Second shot at composting in my new compost container. Ill spare you guys the photo of the first try. Moldy strawberries and eggshells are not very attractive. Here are five lessons learned from the failure:

1. Sometimes it doesn't pay off to jump right in. Usually this is how I operate. Spare me the details, just tell me what I need to do to get started. This mentality has proven not to work in the gardening sector. Informed baby steps are what I'm now practicing these days... At least when it comes to vegetables. 

2. Citrus is a no-no. All those orange peels, lemon wedges, and peach skins I was shoving into the container really aren't the best thing for the soil. They make the pH all screwy. 

3. Here's the kicker: you have to start with soil. Okay for all you gardening geeks out there, please don't laugh. I had no clue that I would have to start by putting some dirt in my bin. Makes perfect sense looking back on it...

4. Balancing dry & wet. So if your compost gets a little dry, add something a little damp. If it gets too moist, add some newspaper shreds. Simple. And probably would have staved off all that mold in round 1. 

5. Stir the pot. I usually like to stir the pot, but not so much in this case. I just really want to put the lid on it and forget about it. But I guess sometimes you gotta make sacrifices to get the results you want. 

There you have it, 5 things I've learned about composting. It's a start. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My tomatoes are growing!


Try as I might, I'm really not the best gardener. I'd really like to be. I pick up gardening magazines, pin gardening tips, and dream about my future edible backyard oasis. But every time I try to make my dreams a reality, I fail miserably. I've finally figured out why. I haven't yet stopped to really pay attention to what each plant needs. Plants are like children with their own personalities and desires. Some love water and others are picky eaters. Some love to play outside in the hot sun all day and others would rather be somewhere cool and shaded. I'm taking it slow and learning what each plant really needs so that I can someday have that dream garden. For now, I start humbly with tomatoes and basil. So far? I'm turning out to be a decent mom to them both.