sunflower13
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Composting in a raised garden?

I rented a plot this year and I am pretty sure the previous owner never amended the soil. I am going to put down some worm castings etc. and do onsite worm tea. I don't have a place for composting/bin at my place and nowhere on site either. I want to draw more worms because I have only seen a few so far when digging around. Can I dig a hole nice and deep and put stuff like organic banana peels, fruit rinds etc.? I don't have access to cut grass, leaves etc. but this fall I am going to try asking people for their leaves so I can cover my plot for the winter and they can break down until next spring. Do I need to ask people if they sprayed their trees? Thanks all :)!

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applestar
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Re: Composting in a raised garden?

I want to draw your attention to this threadt. The link will send you to the pertinent post, but take a look at the rest of the thread and the progression of the beds so far since spring.

I'm totally sold on making a compost pile in the middle of the bed (which I originally came across as African keyhole design) where possible. I'll be doing more of this in the future and exploring different configurations. 8)
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

sunflower13
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Re: Composting in a raised garden?

applestar wrote:I want to draw your attention to this threadt. The link will send you to the pertinent post, but take a look at the rest of the thread and the progression of the beds so far since spring.

I'm totally sold on making a compost pile in the middle of the bed (which I originally came across as African keyhole design) where possible. I'll be doing more of this in the future and exploring different configurations. 8)
That is so cool! Being in a community garden and having no yard space at home I feel so limited but this is something I could try. I am going to ask the community manager if I can do this. Thanks!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Composting in a raised garden?

You can definitely do as you and applestar are suggesting. But are you sure you don't have room for a compost bin at home?

https://www.google.com/shopping/product ... IECEKYrMAg

This guy has a footprint of just 23" x 23" and is pretty discreet.
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digitS'
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Re: Composting in a raised garden?

Sunflower, it must depend on soil structure but I have gotten along fine with subterranean and semi-subterranean composting for the last 5 years. Before that, I was doing about 50:50, semi-sub and bin composting.

My soil is gravelly, about the best way to describe it - glacial till. It drains well and probably holds a lot of air once it is disturbed.

In the fall, I dig out several beds to the depth of a shovel, toss all the frost killed plants in there and recover for the winter. It only takes a little raking in the spring to ready those beds for planting. Composting-in-place.

Most of my composting is done in a 4' by 10' bed that is never planted. I have been able to just keep some compost and some soil covering the compostables that show up almost daily. As I work my way from one end to the other, what I put in earliest becomes available for garden use. It is extremely "hungry" and everything decomposes quickly!

Finally, I have 2 small wood decks - one outside my backyard chicken coop and the other outside the greenhouse. These are small enough so as to be movable. Under them is my "stealth" composting. Once again, they are dug to about 8" and the compostables are covered until decayed.

There is no actual compost pile (or bin) anywhere but lots of composting going on.

Steve
Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

sunflower13
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Re: Composting in a raised garden?

Thanks Rainbowgarden and Steve! I do like that guy's compost bin. I might try getting a worm bin for the indoors but I just have no indoor space right now. I'd love to move! I don't have and outside area for a compost bin but I wonder if I could squeeze a bin somewhere at onsite...

Steve: I am definitely going to put compost, like leaves and dead plants, into my raised bed in the fall. I like your idea of an empty space just for composting.

imafan26
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Re: Composting in a raised garden?

How big is the community garden plot?

Many community gardens have a community garden compost pile or can get access to mulch from landscapers and the green waste facility. You might even be able to get manures from stables and farms for your compost pile. Check with your manager if they have community compost pile or if the gardeners can pool their resources and get a pile of compost, manure, dirt, etc in bulk.
The community garden I am involved in works with the city. We actually have a problem with landscapers and others dumping trimmings and junk. Sometimes the trimmings are good. Sometimes a landscaper or electric company or city contractor will ask to bring their loads if they are nearby. We also have stables calling us if we want to get horse manure from them since they just want to get rid of it. Once in a while we will also get offers of dirt. There are places where households can get free mulch and the community garden has paid for topsoil and compost for the gardeners before. Usually the mulch is free, but the company charges for the cost of the truck and driver. Our plots are big enough for the gardeners to be able to compost inside their plots. The plots in town are more compact so they have a community compost pile and area where landscapers can deposit mulch.

If you want to do an African style keyhole garden, I think the diameter is 6 feet. I think it was the maximum range for the water and compost to be able to spread out to from the central basket.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Susan W
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Re: Composting in a raised garden?

Sunflower, great going on your garden plot!
There are ways to compost given your situation of limited space apart, and garden some distance, but don't beat yourself up over it. Don't let it be the tail wagging the dog.

A suggestion if it works in your space. Any small area, dig hole or trench and add your peals, stems and cores, coffee grounds, cover with dirt. Next trip there, another hole, then another. As a crop finishes and you aren't replanting same space, use that area, on going around the garden plot. If you have a few worms, this will make them happy and they will make more worms.
Have fun!
Susan

sunflower13
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Re: Composting in a raised garden?

Thanks Susan and Iamafan! I have an interesting situation at my garden. The people there are excellent gardeners that come up with ingenious ways to grow things. They even dig up extra gardens lol and add to their plots and it is all very organized. We don't have a compost pile. They don't mulch so I am trying to figure out how they keep it so weed-free. Most of the gardeners don't speak English or are limited. They are all very sweet and we use hand motions to communicate the best we can :). I could just plop a hole in the ground but the city owns the plot and they have sprinklers and mowers and they maintain the grounds so they may mess it up. My plot is in the middle of everybody so they only areas near me are walk ways. I may try to find a discreet hole near a fence to put some compost like Susan suggests. I also thought of doing the the trench method of drop and dig in between plants. I thought about dumping worms in there but they will still need food :D. I will figure it out somehow. Just pushing some ideas around. Thanks everyone!

Susan W
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Re: Composting in a raised garden?

Sunflower, perhaps I miss-wrote, which I have done before.... What I meant was to bury your veggie scraps in your plot, one bit at a time. Even 1 foot vacant will give you a couple of dumps. I keep a small stainless bowl by the sink for coffee grounds with filter and scraps etc. It goes out every day or two. Keep it simple......!!
Have fun!
Susan

sunflower13
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Location: Eastern Washington Z 6 HZ 3-4

Re: Composting in a raised garden?

I can do that, Susan :)! I was wondering if anyone else did that. I figured the worms would come up to eat it. I know there are worms as I've seen a few. I am going to do this. I have some egg cartons and kitchen scraps. Going to tear up the egg cartons and grab my scraps. Thanks, Susan!

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