The layering technique seems to be working fine in the market garden and so I’ve decided to try it on the kitchen garden boxes. I’ve been reading up on something called “lasagna gardening” where the layering goes to a whole new level. Maybe I’ll try it in one of the other boxes to see which works best..?
The real reason why I’m doing this has to do with the gardening soil mix we purchased (locally) several months back. It was terrible, to say the least. As soon as I wet it, it began to compact and I could see how the poor plants struggled with it. So I dug out some of it, the newspaper* went down and then compost gets layered on top. Remember, this technique repairs any type of soil you already have, so there was no need to dig it all out. I know that this box will have more spinach and lettuces in it (among other yummy things) so it will also get a plastic covering over top to extend the season. We love our salads here!
The top layer (wood chips) is on standby. Once the seedlings grow out of that stage and get to be 3-4 inches tall, I’ll push the chips in around them. I’m wondering how this is going to work with the leafy greens. It’s quite a bit of work to not work, you know? (update below)
Now that everything is planted, it’s time to move on. Because freezing weather is upon us, a mini hoop house gets installed over the boxes. Contrived? Not quite accurate. It just so happens that many things I do look like I actually planned it. 🙂 A quick makeshift? Makeshift is my middle name. If it works, it stays, and that’s usually by accident. When I saw the hubby walk in with a few metal straps I thought, “Hmm. That’ll work!” So he took a sawzall to cut them down to size to hold the bent rebar onto the boxes.
We laid 6 mil clear plastic across the top and weighed it down with boards on each side. The end result is a bit on the awkward side, but it works.
Make sure the boards are easy to lift. If these 2 x 4’s were any longer, I’d struggle with ’em. They are just long enough to sit on top of the rebar hoops if I only want them opened half-way.
So there it is. I just simply lift up on one side and stick my head underneath. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.
Marking my territory.
*Info: Our newspaper gets printed with non-toxic coloring and is safe for composting. Check up on yours to make sure that colored prints are okay to use.
Well it seems that all the greens are doing just fine. Better in fact, they all popped up like gangbusters. Salad anyone?
(Here’s what I did with the unused spaces on either side.)