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Jul 18, 2011 1:10 PM CST
|I build beds using a modification of this method. In the Fall I drag all the big pieces of the compost pile that are left into a big pile. I dump any food waste that I have in the middle and then cover the whole mess with whatever I have that is organic. In the spring, I bring in a truckload of humus and bury the whole thing because I don't have enough organics on my tiny, city lot to do a good job of covering the pile. (My beds kind of look like burial mounds - but no one has complained - or they are scared to complain.) The first bed in the front yard is now almost totally worm castings after 5 years. I have added a stacked stone wall around it and it looks like it has always been there and not the lawn replacement that it really is. I could almost get away without planting in it because I have volunteers of almost anything I ever planted! The bed built in my neighbors back yard has dropped at least 12' in the past three years from the internal composting. This method works well and helps me out quite a bit as my City doesn't like to pick up yard waste unless it is in tiny pieces in designated paper bags.|
Jul 18, 2011 2:18 PM CST
|"(My beds kind of look like burial mounds - but no one has complained - or they are scared to complain.)"|
You have me smilin', YankeeCat! And congrats on your beds.
Have any pics by any chance? I'd love to see them.
Jul 18, 2011 2:49 PM CST
|I'd love to see photos! It sounds like a great concept you've got!|
Jul 19, 2011 6:57 PM CST
|Here are pictures of the mound gardens I built. I need to restack the stones around the one in the front yard - but you get the idea. This started out as a lawn with a huge stump in it. I wasn't going to pay to have the stump dug out so I ended up making a huge stack of all the limbs and bushes I cut down over the year, added food scraps and leaves and whatever I had that was organic material and then bought 4 yards of humus and poured the humus over the pile. A year or so later the whole thing was disturbed when I had a gas line put in and that is when I built the stone wall around it.|
You can see the mound sticking out at the left side of this picture. Again I stacked all the rough debris that wouldn't compost themselves over the winter and added organic materials and lots of wood chips and finally another load of humus. The mound was at least 14" high in the beginning and now it is less than 6". This is in my neighbor's yard and this year it has corn, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, tomatillos, arugula, lettuce, lamb's quarters and I just pulled the garlic and put in pumpkins and a watermelon. I added 3 more feet to the end this spring.
This is basically the technique you are using, Dave - but on a smaller scale.