Building long compost piles to serve as vegetable beds on rubble for spring planting.
Expanding our thriving vegetable garden on rubble for more self sufficiency.
We strive to become mostly self sufficient when it comes to our food. We established a lot of garden beds on rubble last spring. We made raised beds and filled them with normal soil we had bought. Buying the soil was needed to have a decent start in growing our own food and planting the fruit trees we had purchased. We just are not very fond of it, since there is no life in the sifted soil and the nutritional value is also very low. Although, after a growing season, these beds are getting better and are filling with life, we prefer to try out new ways of creating soil to expand our garden area. After seeing a video about the “Ruth Stout no work gardening method“ I suggested to just roll out a straw bale in the fall and sow in there next spring. Well rolling out a big round straw bale is not that easy and we do not really have soil (mainly rubble) underneath for the plants to grow in, so we decided to give it a little different approach. Mulching is not enough we need to build up soil for the plants to grow in and this is how we started.
We are starting of with a bunch of round bales which have been sitting on the round site of the bale. Normally you do not store round bales like that, but we actually pressed these bales to compost for soil for growing vegetables and had used these bales as a “fence” and windbreaker around the children’s playground last winter. Here’s the post about that. We where hoping that if the bales sit like that, moisture goes in and in the bales the decomposing process will start. This did not happen and the bales did not really start to decompose, so we decided to use the straw as it is and see if the straw decomposes better if we spread the bales out.
We have 3 beds we want to build with these straw bales. We used our wheel loader to pick them up and divide them on the 3 rows we want to build up new garden beds.
After removing the netting we used the wheel loader with grabble to loosen the bales and make a row with the straw.
This was done last July and after a bigger saw project we divided the sawdust that came together over the 3 rows as well.
After a while the dogs had flattened and compacted the straw by playing over it and we found that the new garden beds had too little material, so we rolled one hay bale per bed out over the beds. This we just let sit over winter and hoped the material would decompose in time to plant in the spring.
Meanwhile we know this was not sufficient and we give the beds a different working to get the soil we need in time for spring planting. With time we will see what works better. I will document this in a separate post. So if this interests you, stay tuned for what’s next.
If you want to see what we did, here’s a video for you.
I finally brought myself to make an overview of my gardens and mark out all of the different fruit trees, Berries, Herbs and other perennials I have planted. Somehow these things, on paper, always tent to disappear, so now I am posting my garden layout, so I will always find them again.
My Gardens are in line from Nord to South starting with the Orchard, then Garden 1 (which we have not set up jet), followed by Garden 2, Garden 3 and Garden 4.
R1: Kinder-Himbeere, Glen Ample (Also in the raspberry row, I just don’t know where)
R2: Tula Magic
R3: Herbsthimbeere, Autum Bliss
R5: Rubus id Tulameen
R6: Herbsthimbeere, Zefa Herbsternte (I forgot to write this down on time and do not know which one this is)
J1: White Currant, Weißer Versailler
J2: Black Currant, Titania
G1: Vitis, Grape vine Idera, Yellow, only little seeds, mildew resistant
G2: Vitis, Grape vine Magdalena, Red, only little seeds, mildew resistant
H1: Thyme/ Thymian (brought with me from Italy)
H3: Lemon balm/ Zitronenmelisse
H4: After eight mint
H5: Sage/ Salbei
H6: Camomile/ Kamille
Garden 2, Plant bed
P1: Peony “Coral Sunset”
P2: Peony “Full Moon” P3: Peony “Cora Louise”
P4: Hydrangea blue
P5: Jerusalem Artichoke
This Garden does not exist jet
Yellow winter onion set “Shakespear”, 2 rows Leaving space in between two rows to sow carrots
Spelt/ Dinkel, First half of plant bed
Red winter onion set “Rote Winter”, 2 rows Leaving space in between two rows to sow carrots
Garlic rosa “Germidour”
Onion “Snowball”, left side, 1 row Onion “Senshyu Yellow, right side, 1 row Leaving space in between two rows to sow carrots
Emmer, First half of plant bed
Rye/ Roggen, Front side of plant bed is a little space free for flowers
Wheat/ Weizen, Left side Winter hedge onion/ Winterheckenzwiebel, Right side
Garlic white “Messidor”
Some side notes
XIII: This is the only bed that we dough. We dough in the straw that was on top the entire season, sowed green manure and put new straw on top. We want to see if this makes a difference to the other beds.
Green manure was sowed in the following beds: VI, VIII, XIII, XXV
I: Garlic “Ajo Spring Violeta”, 2 outher rows with space in the middle