Building Garden Soil with Free, Local, and Abundant Resources

One Yard Revolution is all about growing a lot of food on a little land using sustainable organic methods, while keeping costs and labor at a minimum. Emphasis is placed on improving soil quality with compost, mulch, and compost tea. No store-bought fertilizers, soil amendments, pesticides, compost activators, etc. are used.

I grew gardens from Seattle, WA to Washington, DC, from Wildwood Station, Alaska, to Killeen, TX. The soils in each location had conditions that needed amendments. In Alaska, a group of Athabascan Indians took me to gather seaweed for my garden, in Texes I gathered cow  pies from the free-range land. In Washington, DC, I found help getting leaves during autumn clean-up. In Seattle, WA. I gathered leaves and organic materials. 

Each location offered opportunities to learn about soils, their composition, and the needs of plants of the area. With the help of Athabascans I grew 20 pound cabbages the first year of my garden grown from the tundra of the location. 

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Great organic approach to soil conditioning, Joan. I've switched from buying mulch for my garden to using shredded leaves from lawn clean up. Can't grow food, though. Too much shade. I don't even keep up with the small plots I have with just perennials that keep coming back. Just weeding can threaten trigger finger. Also I'm too intimidated by disease-carrying mosquitoes and heat to actually use my back yard. I still enjoy it through the windows, though.

Joan thanks for the info!

Since I am preparing my old place for sale, unfortunately it's getting a more typical lawn again.  The realtors say a nice lawn helps with selling, and a highly gardened yard is a deterrent to buyers.  So I have been removing as much as I can for the Battleground garden, and converting the old place to lawn.

One lawn food that seems to help a lot is Milorganite.  Milorganite is made from processed sewage from Milwaukee, and is heat dried microbes.  It is tested for nutrient content and toxic components, and is considered safe for food crops too.  So I spread Milorganite on the new lawn, and it did green it up a lot.  Stinky stuff the first few days, then it dissipates.

Thanks, Joan. 

Yesterday, I deposited several wheel barrows full of used potting soil (from my kid's greenhouse) into the compost pile. That should mix well with the grass and leaves already there.

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