Sunday, December 30, 2012

Garden Prep (What I'm doing to prepare for spring gardening in DECEMBER)

On Friday, my partner and I had a surge of energy, so we cleaned up the yard, organized materials, burned recyclables for our garden so we could start prepping for Spring gardening. Technically, I will be gardening in February since I'll be starting Cabbage and Brussels indoors. In the first three pictures, you will see that I made seed starting trays out of water bottles and duck tape. 

I always suggest to people they should use free, recycled,
re-purposed materials to create your own tools/supplies.

To make these trays, cut off the head/lid of the
water bottle, line bottles in rows, then tape.

Remember to puncture holes in the bottoms of each
water bottle for drainage.

The compost pile is full of leaves that I raked up around the yard.

Compost should be 1(nitrogen):3(carbon) ratio.
Compost needs to contain 1 part food scraps to every
3 parts of wood-based materials
(leaves, sticks, bark, ash, paper)

This past summer I grew tomatoes, peppers, and beans here.
Next Spring, I will be growing Cabbage, Brussels, and Broccoli here,
as seen here.

In the making of our herb garden. We had logs around our
house from a tree we had to cut down.

More free materials!
 As I said, I want to create a HEART-SHAPED FLOWER BED. I want it to look something like this, but with the bricks I have found around the yard:

Photo Source: Romantic Garden

Burning brush and wood from around our yard helps
add nitrogen to our soil, and it also helps us to expand the garden.

The garden, on my Mother's property, is currently 35 ft long and 13 ft wide. We're expanding the garden by another 30 ft for maximum yields!

Below I have posted a video from, where "John goes on a field trip to Orange County Farm supply to share with you their hanging vertical garden made from an old shipping pallet. In addition, John shares with you how to deal with pests in your garden organically without the use of man made chemical poisons. In addition you will learn the most important aspect of a vegetable garden the soil and the best nutrients to add to supercharge your plant growth to grow bigger and tastier fruits and vegetables":

Check out the link below to see specific gardening requirements for each fruit, vegetable, and herb:

Vegetable Gardening Guide from Explore Cornell University


  1. great use of available refuse for alternate uses.I do not have to deal with snow where I garden just the bugs :-)

    Regards Russell

  2. I like reusing things and getting uses out of them, however, I'm wondering if the BPA in plastic water bottles could be a problem if it leaks into the growing medium?

    Also, Burning newspaper and other things may give a quick fix to the soil, but nitrogen is low in woody material. Carbon is higher. but there are also air pollution issues with open burning too. If you have a recent model wood stove that has a re-burner to capture fumes, try burning the waste in that and then using the charcoal and wood ashes on the garden.

    One last thing to think about, using burned wood etc. will raise the pH of your soil and you don't want to overdo that. The soil should be kept around 6.8 for a vegetable garden.

    For a slow, steady release of nutrients, try using the cardboard and newspaper as a mulch over the soil surface to smother weeds and cover with leaves or grass clippings. It all breaks down naturally and adds organic matter to the soil to improve the physical tilth as well as releasing some nutrients. Latter is low from woody carbonaceous material, though.

    1. Thank you, Cynthia for all the suggestions.
      I burn wood/cardboard on my gardens during the winter.
      My papaw throws food scraps into our second garden rather
      than making compost.
      Also I bag up leaves (from the woods/yard) to add to the garden.
      Lately I have been pulling up weeds from the yard, drying them
      till they turn into straw, then use them as mulch around my
      fruit trees and bushes.
      As for the BPA in the bottles, I am using them as a growing medium
      for a short amount of time, but it still may leach into the soil!