Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday Workday

Webb Dirt 2014 Makes its Debut!

I've frequently talked about the need for a compost pile and have sometimes talked about the care and feeding of mine.  Today you get to see some results. 

I have mentioned that Mitchell decided that "he" would expand "his" vegetable garden this year.  The most important thing that you need to know about his veggie garden is that he loves to plant it, and he loves to eat the results, but he's not too interested in what comes in between, especially the weeding part.  That usually falls to .... well, you know who.
I emptied the dirt out of the old one, and then he built a bigger raised bed.  So, this weekend i started filling the new one.   And, that's where the compost pile comes in. 

The last time I emptied the compost pile and used all the dirt was 2009, when I built the xeri-garden.  So the dirt had been cooking for five years.  It is gorgeous.  Every spadeful is filled with nutrients and wiggly worms.  A great growing medium for the base of the new veggie bed. 
I moved 11 wheelbarrow-fuls and cleared out a space that is 4 feet, by 3 feet, by 3 feet - about 1.3 cubic yards of wonderful top soil.
This used about one third of the "good" pile.  As you might guess, I have at least two future projects in mind for the rest - a bed for sweet peas next year, and one for strawberries in 2016, so it can just sit for a while and I will use it later.

As you can see, there is already plenty piled on the left side and slowly "cooking" down to the good stuff.

The beds are not full, altho I have plenty of good webb-dirt left if i wanted to use it all that way.  Instead, we will add 2-3 inches of the "square foot garden" blend on top.  It's a blend of compost (three different kinds) with vermiculite and peat moss added.  It's very light and drains well.  Veggies seem to love it. 

But, that's a project for later this week .... or maybe next weekend!


  1. I had a compost bin that I built with chicken wire and old posts 30 years ago. It fell over last year so I bought a black plastic one which was on sale at Lowe's. It is better in that it keeps the critters out but not sure it works as well as my old one. Compost is great for vegetables.

  2. Composting can really be such an art. It's not a matter of just piling up leaves. I tried that once and found that composted oak leaves without much else were not particularly good for a vegetable garden. The things we learn in life.