Hello Lovely Blossoms,
This year we started a little herb and vegetable garden probably for the 100th time... you see I was not born with green fingers and unless you handed me a succulent that I placed somewhere and forgot about for two months and then miraculously remembered that I had one, that would be about the only time something survived in our home.
I love the idea of being so self-sustaining that you almost eliminate the need to go to any shopping centre... now I know this will not be completely possible but the less I need to go the better. We have embarked on this journey on making a vegetable/ herb garden so many times and before you know it something would go wrong. So this year we decided it was the year... we set out and built two beautiful planter boxes out of old pallet wood and made sure I had some good soil and fertiliser and I planted tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, carrots the works....only to realise that the spot we placed the boxes at has literally no sun.
Yes I know, not the brightest of sparks obviously... but they somehow managed to drag along and create some sort of resemblance to life so I kept going. My tomatoes took a beating when we had a super cold front with some frost but the others seem to remain in a growing state. Yesterday however, we spent a lot of effort emptying the two boxes and moving them to the other side of the house to get more sun. My one saviour I feel was my compost bin, I began small in January in a bucket and added all sorts of vegetable scraps and some ground to speed things up. It ended up smelling super bad for two reasons...one, I added onion which is a big no no for bin composting - I had to hand pick it out of my fouls smelling bin - two I realised I needed to add some form of brown foliage like leaves or wood shavings. Luckily my husband has taken up the hobby of woodworking so our garage had a mountain of saw dust, I added it the afternoon and by the next day it had the sweetest smell of fresh compost.
I was delighted, the feeling of getting a new project right on track is so rewarding so I dove a little deeper and found the superb benefits of a few other items you can add, one of them is eggshells. Although the eggshell itself takes about three years or so to decompose fully you get some Calcium benefits to your compost. What I do to help speed the process up is I break my eggshells a little smaller, you will notice when you turn your compost often it will "look" like the eggshells seem less but they are actually just breaking into finer pieces.
I firmly believe my compost mix is what helped keep my plants alive for so long without any sun, the cause of the demise was much more likely myself and the fact of the frost and one of the boxes was standing open so when it was raining so much it was constantly over wet but I managed to place a frost cover over them.
My "new" garden will now consist of the two planter boxes earmarked for herbs and I have been preparing a little spot in my garden that I have been feeding with my compost for a while and prepping the grounds for vegetables when it is time to plant again. I started out super uninformed and I have done a lot of research in-between and I am now better prepared for the next growing season.
Another great benefit of adding eggs to your compost is that it keeps some garden pests away. What I would recommend when adding eggshells directly to your garden, is to dry out your egg shells for a day and then either pop them into a food processor or crush with a rolling pin and sprinkle in your garden.
When I was growing up, we never had any type of vegetable garden and this is the main reason why it is so scary to start, I am privileged that my mother in law is probably one of the best vegie and herb gardener's I know and she is always ready to assist. If you are looking to start, grab your phone or invest in a good book to help you out because it can be quite daunting to start with no knowledge.
Composting is an important element of sustainable waste management as it offers a way of processing biodegradable waste fractions. Unfortunately the benefits of composting is not all too well known because of lack of knowledge. There really is not enough platforms and movements to encourage composting and because of this I believe it is the reason people avoid it because we don’t know how much or what to add and what not.
We should make our own compost because it provides the following benefits and more:
It greatly improves the soil structure and creates a better environment for growing plants/ vegetables as the roots have more nutrients.
Improves the drainage of soil
Betters the water holding capacity of the soil
Improves and stabilises the pH balance
Creates a system of less wastage amongst households
There are many more benefits and we should all strive to participate in some form of composting one way or the other.
I will be sharing some more of our composting journey along the way, I am super excited to try composting our Mieliemailer bag we received from a recent purchase. If you do not know about Mieliemailer I highly recommend checking them out at https://mieliemailer.com
I will be starting our compost of this bag this week and keep you updated along the way.
I hope that you are a little more interested in composting yourself and would love to hear your take on this, leave a comment below if you are composting yourself.
Photo credit - https://www.littlesnapsphoto.com (Egg photo)
If you would like to read more about composting and how to start and what you can put into your bin, follow this link - https://www.thespruce.com/things-you-can-compost-2539612
Till next time, be blessed.