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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Horizontal composting

Firstly a picture of my favourite girl, Vera.
No, she is not INSIDE a coup.
She is on the wrong side of the fence that is supposed to keep her,
 and her feathered friends, out of the greenhouse and the area around it.
It is taller than me, but it has proved to be an expensive folly.
They casually fly over it, from a standing start at its base.

  Inside the fence, apart from the greenhouse 
with a path around it, is a garden bed.  
Ages ago I sprayed the couch grass that was in this bed.  
Sorry!  But it is almost impossible to eradicate by digging.

I am preparing this bed for early planting in spring.
First a thick layer of newspaper to further deter any weed growth.

I scraped up a barrow load of chooky poo 
from under the tree they roost in every night.

That is Emily, helping to spread the poo.

Next I did a spot of weeding in the front garden
 and added a layer of weeds mixed with some old
autumn leaves. 
I put another layer of newspaper over this.
Then some more leaves raked from the front lawn.
(I should have done this weeks ago. 
The leaf layer was so thick it has killed the grass!)
Finally I added a lovely layer
of straw and poo from the goat shed.

Some rain and a bit of time, and it should all meld 
into a delicious, nutritious bed for some spring seedlings.

Other people may call this 'No-dig gardening',
but I prefer to think of it as horizontal composting.


  1. It certainly looks like a good brew too... lots of hearty ingredients. Happy planting!
    (Couch, Kikuya ... yes, they're all the very devil to get rid of). Cheers :D)

  2. I absolutely HATE couch grass. It is an insidious mongrel of a thing. Lots of work getting that garden bed ready but it will be a beauty in the future. Hope you aren't freezing too much. Lydia

  3. I am sure it will turn out fine. I have made "compost" this way in all my beds, though not exactly the same, I put only partially composted stuff in them and it works fine. Next year there will be pig pooh in the compost. I am sure that will make it so much better!

  4. Its similar to what I do Hazel, I rarely dig...only keep on layering, compost, chook poo...and straw from the chook works for me and yours sounds like a Sara Lee bed, layer , over layer...the vegies are going to love it.
    Hope all is well at your house.......

  5. Ha ha ha Hazel! Is Vera performing a coup? (See last word second line of your post.) Sorry sweetie, I couldn't resist. :)

    1. Oops! Sorry Miss. Now I can't fix it...your comment would look ridiculous!

  6. I think that's a good idea Hazel, should be ready for planting in spring!

  7. i garden in raised beds the way I do because of that evil couche grass

  8. Hazel, I'm really glad to see you back in gardening mode talking about compost and poo, etc!

  9. That would be so fab for corn! What are you planning to grow in it?

    1. Corn would grow well there. It gets good sun. However, I don't think I want to shade the greenhouse too much. But then again, when the corn is tall, the sun will be overhead, and the greenhouse will be cooking. MMMmmm. Thinking, thinking.


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