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Well it’s taken me long enough to get this far on the garden (I’ve been talking about it for what, weeks now?), but during the last week a lot has been accomplished back there.  We managed to get all the weeds out of the bed and our compost as well as some organic soil that I’d purchased mixed in with our soil.  Living in Florida, we pretty much have sand so we need to enrich the soil as much as we can.   I think we’re going to need to get a few more cans (we have been using a plastic garbage can for our compost) since the original garden area has expanded from what we started with last year.

Compost

Mixing compost, added garden soil and existing garden soil

Existing soil, added soil and compost after mixing

New to composting?  Here are some basics on what to include and not to include in your compost bin, from an article on ninemsn.com:

What to put in a compost bin

  • Fruit and vegetable peelings and leaves
  • tea leaves/ tea bags and coffee grounds
  • fallen leaves
  • grass clippings
  • soft prunings
  • weeds (use only young weeds; those with seed, or about to set seed, are better disposed of in the garbage bin)
  • cow and horse manures
  • ash (from open fireplaces)
  • vacuum cleaner contents (synthetic carpet will not break down)


What not to put in a compost bin
It is important that the heap is not treated simply as a dump.

  • Meat, fish, chicken, dairy products & cooking oils – these may attract vermin such as mice and other pests.
  • Non-living things such as plastics, bottle tops, food wrappers, metals etc
  • Diseased plants
  • Fruit fly infested fruit

Pet droppings: these may contain diseases that can affect humans and other pets. Although these can be treated with the Pet Poo Converter to make them safe for use in compost.

Here is the article in its entirety:

http://ourhouse.ninemsn.com.au/ourhouse/factsheets/db/tips/02/210.asp

Another great source for information on composting is howtocompost.org.

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The answer?  Nothing.

Yet.

We tore everything out from last season some months ago.   The ground needs to be weeded and tilled and I need to get off my butt and figure out what I’m planting out there.   I have some things I intend to start from seed and others I think I will buy some plants that have already sprouted up a bit.

Last year’s garden was my first experience having a back yard garden since I was a kid.  Thank goodness I have some green-thumbed friends who never tire of me picking their brains!  We did get some lovely tomatoes and beans last go ’round.  Some things came up nicely, others didn’t.  I was rather disappointed that my yellow squash never got past the baby stage.  It ended up with a nasty fungus.  Poor squashies.  😦

My cucumbers never did develop, either, save one that looked so much like a watermelon I thought that’s what it was until I sliced it open.  The watermelon and canteloupes didn’t do anything, but I had beautiful okra and pole beans.  The tomatoes were plentiful and delicious!

The following are a few photos from last season:

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