I thought I would show you some before and after shots of the garden and the work I’ve done so far.
Here is the original compost pile on top of where the previous owners had a pet rabbit. The dogs would keep digging in the pile and eating things in it so I had to make something to keep them out of the pile.
Since it is autumn here, the trees were dropping leaves very rapidly and I needed to rake them off the lawn. Leaf litter or leaf mold makes a great addition to the soil when rotted down. Unfortunately, it can take anything from 1 to 2 years before it can be used. The best way to make leaf mold mulch is to shred the leaves in a garden shredder (or chipper) and place in a chicken wire enclosure and squash down with each new addition.
Too many leaves in the compost heap can slow things down tremendously. However, if you have a lot of nitrogen rich material you can hot compost with the leaves.
I want to make a second leaf litter bin to contain the last of the leaves which have dropped once I have spread some on the vegetable patch.
The vegetable garden is in need of a good tidy, pruning and mulching, especially since the neighborhood cats like the light, sandy soil for a litter box. I have been collecting cardboard, leaves and some compost and I am waiting for some manure to be able to complete the mulching materials for the garden.
There was a large quantity of left over bricks at the house and a couple of rotted wooded structures in the garden so I decided to make a small makeshift fire pit. Here I filled it with carpet tack strips and some bits of wood from inside the house. All the carpets had to be pulled out of the property because I had a major allergic reaction to something in the house and the carpet was the first suspected cause.
The ashes and charcoal pieces from the fire pit will raise the pH of the soil making it more alkaline and improve soil structure so there is no waste wherever possible. The contents of a burn once cooled are added to the compost and the garden.