The last few weeks have been chaotic and I’ve had a challenge focusing on the garden project. The goal is to build six wood container boxes. But my weekly lumber allowance disappeared rather quickly; cost more over $17 to build two 4’x4′ boxes. The other challenge is the composting I did in the fall of ’09 only filled one box. So know I have to spend a few extra dollars purchasing topsoil.
Since I don’t own a motorized tiller, I resorted to a very old method of preparing the soil for planting. The New Self-sufficient Gardener by John Seymour offers an old English tradition for raised beds preparation. Basically, get a spade and dig down 6 to 10 inches and flip, or turn, the soil. After turning the soil in each box, I used a garden weasel tool to break up the soil even more. Finally, I added about two to three inches of topsoil before I began planting marigolds around the perimeter of the box. One source I read stated that marigolds provide an organic pest repellent. This is the first year I’ve used marigolds in the garden.
Marigolds are very resistant to bugs (they fly over them for the cabbages) and rabbits (they jump over them for the rest of your stuff). Good luck brother.
that is true… it appears this year the flying bug variety hasn’t affected the cabbages yet… but the slugs sure have… a remedy for that is to cover the leaves with a soapy water solution… i’ll see how well that works…
Compost: consider (if you have not already) starting a vermiposting system for next year. You’ll actually be getting high quality soil by the end of this growing season. I started in December with 2000 worms in rubbermaid storage bins in my basement. I think I have over 10,000 now and can process all our kitchen waste as we make it. I’ve read that one pound of worms can process one pound of compost in 24 hours. I’m not sure that’s accurate, but I’ve filled a rubbermaid trash bin with first class soil since I started. With conventional composting outside it would still be in a pile just getting up to temp about now.
Last spring I learned about vermiposting and started with two rubbermaid totes and maybe 20 or 30 nightcrawlers the kidlingers captured. Since I don’t have a basement, I placed the two totes at the edge of the garden. I took several months for the worms to compost one tote, but I realize now I didn’t have enough worms. Maybe I’ll write a post about how I built a low budget diy vermiposting tote system, how vermiposting went last year, how I plan to change things up this year. As I stated, I’m primarily using nightcrawlers I find in the garden. What variety of worms do you use?