Preparing for A Gardening Break

Welcome back to Buddberry Farms. Since last sharing about my first soap, a garden soap, I decided to put it to some use and get some gardening in. This weekend I am cleaning up my garden bed and working on enriching the soil with some lasagna gardening.  If you haven’t heard of lasagna gardening, maybe you know it as sheet mulching. Im going to rip everything out and work on the soil, then, after a few weeks, i’ll plant my fall garden. In my actual bed, all I’ve got going are some peppers and eggplant and some dud tomatoes that never grew more fruit, or even bloomed again for that matter, after nipping some blight in the bud and pruning extensively.

I still have my potatoes growing in tubs, and some perennial fruits in other locations but my regular vegetable bed was a huge disappointment this year. This is the first time I’ve gardened in years and the first time with this soil type. Here in Florida it’s very sandy and it’s a fine, white, sugar sand. I hail from Southern California and gardened extensively in my twenties. I grew just about everything there and didn’t amend in the slightest. Every now and then, I’d cover with some cow manure and that was about it.  Everything here is a struggle for me.

Bare bed


So…everything goes! I’m ripping it all out! I’m going to attempt that lasagna gardening I keep reading about. I’ll start with some biochar leftover from my last burn of branch clippings.

Lasagna bed


Next, I’ve got some old newspaper I’m going to lie down, then cover that with grass clippings. I’ll mix in the coffee grounds and egg shells I’ve been saving up, as well as some other food waste and let it all compost in place.

Then I’ll pour over all that, the stinky poopy smelling sludge that I tried to compost, but really just managed to putrify!

Compost fail

(Can you say nasty?) That is one smell you do not want to get on you! What a compost fail. I use it as a compost tea but it never broke down properly. It was always too wet, not enough air circulation or enough green or brown waste; almost all food waste. 


Lastly, I’ll layer on some good, rich, well composted leaf and pine needle mulch. Now, this is the thickest layer I’ve got going, and that’s OK. It’s got good stuff inside, lots of micro organisms.

Prepared bed
Hot composting

I put a tarp over it and I’ll let it hot compost for about 3 weeks. After that, I’ll add some worm castings, organic fertilizer, cow manure and mix in some epsom salts and get ready to plant again for the fall! the best part is, I finally got rid of the last of the stinky failed compost. So what have you got going on in your beds for the end of summer?



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