This year ... after removing trees that over shadowed everything ... we're giving over lots more of the back garden to veg.
We're very excited about all the shoots popping up in our fab little greenhouse and can't wait until it's warm enough to plant things out.
The only downside is, we're gardening on horrid, horrid, horrid London clay!!
Shovel loads of compost have helped, but it's going to be a constant battle to keep the soil veg friendly.
And unfortunately, our old compost heap hasn't exactly been what you'd call composting :-(
So we've been doing some simple things to get it moving again.
The first job of "turning" it all over with a fork to mix everything up is an adult only job but after that everything has been 4 year old friendly and it's been a brilliant opportunity to explore ...
- How plants break down but lots of man made things don't
- How plants use soil to grow
- Different types of soil ... what they feel like & which plants like them
- The fabulous role the worms, snails, slugs & more who live in the compost heap play in breaking things down
Composting for Beginners
If you want to start composting & get your kids involved you just need to remember ...
- Put a mixture of "green" and "brown" stuff on it
- Quick composting green things include:
- Nettles ... brilliant if it slows down
- Veg scraps ... but don't forget you can regrow some veg from scraps
- Weeds ... as long as they haven't seeded or got roots they regrow from
- Slower composting brown things include:
- Fruit peel ... cut up thick skins into small pieces
- Old plants
- Garden cuttings
- Weed roots left out to dry in sun to kill them off
- Coffee grains & tea bags
- Fallen leaves
- Brown paper bags torn up
- Shredded carboard e.g. egg boxes and loo rolls
- Egg shells ... broken up and mixed into middle so don't attract pests
- Keep green and brown mixed up ... turn it over with a fork whenever you can
- If you've got the space have a really small wooden heap where you can collect up a mixture of new stuff and turn it all over before adding to the main heap
- If it gets to dry add in more green stuff and water it
- If it gets to wet and runny add in more brown stuff
- DON'T try to compost ...
- bread, cooked food, meat or dairy as will attract vermin
- printed paper ... can poison the compost, better recycled
- cat & dog poop ... will include meat waste
Happy composting ... :-)
A small plastic greenhouse for less than £20 is a fab way to start growing veg even if your garden is tiny.
Our greenhouse ... which we got from Gardman ... is squeezed on the patio by the kitchen window.
You can Gardman greenhouses from Amazon in the USA & UK and B&Q sell a similar one.
Our's is currently full of rapidly growing pea, carrot, spinach, beetroot, lettuce and sunflower shoots ...
P.S. If you enjoyed this post do check out my other gardening with kids posts and subscribe to my monthly play & parenting mailer in which I share simple tips ...
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