Questions And Answers On Home Gardening Tips Compost

Jane asks…

Tips on small gardens.I have good black soil to start with. rying to grow organic.?

I have a small garden 30 yrds by 30 yrds. Two mini horses and some manure and shavings along with kitchen scraps and your typical composting matter. My ground is basicly black because im in the woods of Georgia. No clay earth . Well not much. Should I spread the already dried worn out shavings in the garden or just weed untill the end of the year and then spread it all at once. Iv found a new hobbie in composting and organic growning. Im just worried that I wont produce enough fruit. The garde spot was the home of all my horse waste for the pst two years. Maybe its ok. Just need some ideas

Home Gardener answers:

Sounds like you have ideal land for growing fruit and vegetables. You should also consider crop rotation if growing vegetables.
The link is from the UK, BBC gardeners world. It is excellent, I use it all the time.

Alana asks…

I would like to start a garden on a roof-deck in St. Louis, MO. Advice?

My boyfriend has a rather large roofdeck, over 2,000sqft. However, the ladies who used to live there had two dogs and they built a “sandbox” type of thing for their pets to relieve themselves in. They haven’t lived there for almost a year now, so I am guessing most of the fecal matter is dried up by now. But I could easily shovel the fecal matter OUT of the “box” (it’s actually circular) along with a lot of the sand/old soil and go buy potting soil at Lowes’ or Home Depot or a nursery and fill it up with fresh soil, and compost.

Speaking of which what is better–compost or fertilizer?

Anyway! Any tips for creating a garden that can thrive in the city on a roof? I would love to plant veggies, flowers, herbs, and maybe even fruit! I have heard herbs and some veggies are pretty easy to plant. My mum and I usually just buy pregrown flower beds at Lowes or H.D. and plant those in our front yard back in pittsburgh in the spring time…. but I have never grown flowers using seeds before! I assume it’s fairly straightforward though.

I plan to begin growing things indoors in various pots before planting them outside. I want to wait until the last frost so that nothing I plant outside goes belly up! LOL!

Home Gardener answers:

I love a roof garden.
Regardless of how dry the fecal matter is, remove it all and any dirt (debris) in the box. I would also use an old mop or rags and carefully wipe down all the surfaces. Dogs are omnivores and bacteria in their waste, solid and liquid, can spread disease to humans- that’s why the dirt needs to go too.
Get fresh potting soil, (growing medium) and compost (organic, and most gardeners consider this better) or fertilizer (chemical) .
Remember, the veggies will take in the minerals and whatever else is in the soil and end up in you!
Start your seeds indoors about 8 weeks before the last frost date in your area (check if you need this data). I like to use peat pots because they act as pots and then go right into the soil.
The roof will warm up at least a week before the ground level soil. If you really want to take full advantage of this- and I would because you could extend your growing season significantly on the roof – buy a soil thermometer. Most garden centers carry them and some test soil pH or moisture as well so they are very useful . (I got one a year ago for under $20. At a home improvement store)
Use the thermometer to check the soil temp on the roof and on the ground so you can see the advantage you are gaining. For most plants the temp should be at least 50 degrees. Some plants need more warmth, some less.

On the roof, you could probably start lettuce in a “covered row” in Feb
Covered row: arcs of coat hanger wire with plastic sheeting draped over to make a mini greenhouse.
Peas in Feb too started in a covered row with the row ends open on any day the outside temp is 45 deg or more. This is OK for carrots, radish, cabbage family, parsley, chives
When the soil is at warm, start green beans- on a trellis
When the soil is fully warmed up and no more cold nights, it is time for tomatoes, peppers, melons, zucchini
and the tender herbs: basil, oregano,
Plant some marigolds- they are so easy and pretty with a variety of heights and bloom sizes – very easy for a beginner. Zinnias are nice to and have lovely colors – great for cutting

I hope you have a lovely time- don’t forget some nice lawn chairs and a big hat to shade your eyes as you sit and survey your “back 40″

I am wiping the drool off my keyboard and let you get started on this neat adventure.

Lisa asks…

Dear Earth is in trouble! What can we do?

Do you like the world we live in?
Do you want your children or grandchildren to suffer?
Do you want Earth to die away?

Of coarse not!

But what can we do?

1. Pay attention to how much water you use. If you don’t allready…take a shower! It uses less water than a bath. And be quick, if you spend to long heres a tip- use cold water, not only will you feel rushed your hair will be shiny and grow longer!
Save water. As gross as it sounds its really not that bad. Only wash clothes and dishes when neccesary and be sure to wash a big load.
Turn water off! Its so simple! When your washing dishes you DO NOT NEED ALL THE WATER! And turn the water off when your brushing your teeth.

2. Leave the car at HOME! Its healthier to walk anyways! I don’t use a car. I either walk, ride a bike, or skate board. Its funner and safer (less accidents) and its good for the environment.

3. Recycle! Its easy! Get a few bins for recycling- one for paper and one for plastics. Encourage your friends and school to recycle too!

4. Make a compost pile! Heres how!

5. Buy some seeds and grow a garden! Plant a tree!

6. Its not as bad as you think to pick up the trash! Whenever I’m walking aroudn town I see trash EVERYWHERE! So what do I do…I pick it up!

Please help dear Mother Earth. She has cared for us and now that she’s in trouble its our turn to care for her. If we don’t do anything the world will be in huge trouble. I’m trying my hardest to reach out to teens and kids to help! Spread the word. Help make the world a better place.

Home Gardener answers:

Good self answers. Check out these two short articles.

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