Tuesday, September 16, 2008

planning for next year's failure

I'm trying something we heard about on Radio West a while ago. They were doing a piece called "The New Victory Garden," about the rebirth of the home garden. Hee. Rebirth. That's funny for those of us who didn't realize that it had died in the first place (read: Mormons). Anyhoo, one of the guests they spoke to recommended getting sheets of cardboard and putting them down where you want your garden, then putting lawn waste and such on top of it, soaking it well, then letting it sit over the winter. In the spring you can just plant directly in the now-composted plant matter. I suppose you just keep adding to it over the years, tilling it in as necessary. I didn't actually hear that part of the program, but my mom did, and it sounds much better to me than trying to till up the wretched patch of rocks and clay we have behind our lilac bush.

So I got all the big cardboard boxes I could find at our house (which is a surprising lot), then went dumpster diving at my dad's work today.

I feel good knowing that my plants will be growing in boxes for Genuine CASE Parts.

I took some of the hay waste from the garage floor and the goat pen, spread it all over the cardboard and watered it down. I'll keep looking for more cardboard, and luckily our goats are greedy, spoiled brats, so there will be ample hay waste to put on top.

The beginnings of next year's pathetic excuse for a garden.

My ambitions were greater than my abilities last year, but I cannot face another year of garden mutiny. I will be immolated by self-loathing if I can't get my act together and at least grow some tomatoes next year. Mind you, I have tomatoes this year. You just can't find them in the weeds.

Two years ago I had much better success getting stuff planted because I followed the moon tables in the Farmer's Almanac. I'm going to try that again next year, because I need someone to be the garden boss of me.

Last night we all went downstairs into the fruit room and catalogued our food storage. We set each of the boys to counting packages, buckets and cans, and now we have a much better idea of what we have down there, which is: not enough.


highdeekay said...

So what does one do if they have NO direct sunlight in their backyard? We tried a container garden on our deck but even that didn't get enough sun because of all the greedy trees. We'll see if I can convince Phil to let me have a front yard garden (ruins the aesthetic you know) since the city is cutting down our two trees (yippee!) because they are in the power line and someone (who me?) tipped them off that it might be a hazard. You can always compare your garden to ours and feel better about yourself.

richvm said...

Have you done any research concerning the glue or chemicals in the cardboard? I'm wondering if they would leave any leaching concerns? Sounds like a good idea but in researching vermology and vermicomposting I read something about not using cardboard because it would kill the worms. That makes me wonder. I think you and your boys would love raising the crawlers for the castings and the boys could do a side business. concerning your other post I hope you remember good things more than just the occasion moments of reverted Sanpete sheep lingo.

Layne said...

Hmm. You're right. I hadn't even thought of that. I bet I could use newspaper and get the same weed barrier results.

Of course we remember the good things--that's why we wanted you guys to come along! You should have heard John laugh when he read that quote the other day. He was almost crying.

Layne said...

Heidi--you should sing to Phil "The Prophet says to plant a garden, so that's what we'll doooooooo." It's totally a commandment!

All8 said...

We've used layers of newspaper with great success. 4-6 layers if I remember correctly, but you could certainly use more for a better weed barrier. You could also bury your kitchen wastes under the hay or under the paper for that matter. It's all going to decompose anyway and the worms love it. Shredded fall leaves work too. Total commandment. Sing that song to my kids all the time. Little ones love it, older ones groan.

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing! I read about something similar to this in a magazine. Except it said to do the whole thing in a plastic composting bin (worms added) and then take the rich soil out from time to time and add it to the garden. I'm liking this idea even better.