The Great Outdoors (Our Yard), Part I: Composting

DIYDanielle blogs about her garden plans and composting.

We spent a lot of time outside on this beautiful January weekend (long MLK Jr. weekend in January that just happened to be 50-60 degrees the whole weekend) clearing brush in our back for the fence that's getting installed next week. We decided not to DIY on the fence or deck because we needed the fence immediately to contain our active Australian Shepherd and the deck was just a bit too intimidating. No need to have our son fall through because we did something wrong! We're going to save the DIY projects for an attached patio and maybe a pergola. We'll see. I'm hoping to do a pergola and use mosquito netting "curtains" so that we can use it as a "sun room" sort of if the bugs are bad. Let me tell you- I have HUGE plans for this yard. I've been looking forward to having a yard since forever, and I'm pinning stuff like crazy.


Projects I'm planning for:
  • Raised garden beds along the back for a large vegetable garden that has: tomatoes, asparagus, cucumbers, lettuce, corn, garlic, onions, potatoes, artichokes, beans, brocoli, spinach and carrots. Maybe some berries in there too. So exciting! 
  • Some sort of fence to keep the dogs out of my garden beds... last year they ate all my tomatoes on my patio garden.
  • Water feature with fishies- I'm hoping to try to have guppies outside in the nice weather, we'll see how that goes.
  • Patio with DIY fire pit and seating
  • Landscaping to target mosquitos and the excessive amount of groundwater that our two sump pumps are actively battling. I've seen some pins about using lemongrass to scare the mosquitos as well as a couple others. I was contemplating how the mosquito repellant plants all are likely to attract cats (like catnip) so I don't want to go too crazy with them. But I noticed that a lot of the plants are also used herbally so I like this so they can provide a purpose beyond looks and mosquito repellent. I wouldn't mind having a few plants on hand like Lavender, Chamomile, and Lemongrass to use for other DIY products like beauty supplies and oils. As for the groundwater, my logic says that plants drink water from the soil and if I plant "thirsty" plants then that should at least decrease the amount of groundwater we have in the soil, therefore decreasing the amount of work the sump pumps are doing. I've still got to figure this all out because I haven't been able to find related topics online.  
  • Compost bins so I have something to use in our garden.
I'll be posting more about these projects in the future, but for now- COMPOSTING! I was pretty psyched to discover that our county gives away free compost bins so I dragged the toddler with me to pick it up (finally) a couple weeks ago. I took advantage of the nice weather and the now partially cleared back of our yard to put it together. It was pretty easy and although I'm a little uncertain about how I filled the compost bin (mostly brown materials), I'm hopeful that frequent turning and addition of green materials will allow for it to "do its thing" sooner rather than later. We had a lot of leaves and branches to start with because of all the clearing we were doing.

All about composting:
There's the compost bin wayyy back.
For the inside to collect your kitchen waste in:
One tip that I read was to use your food processor to break up citrus peels and such so you can just deposit the "mush" into the bin. I'm going to do this as apparently the peels can take quite a bit of time to decompose otherwise.



Here's Daddy B cutting stuff down... it doesn't look too different in the photos, but it really is a HUGE difference.
Before (well, mid way anyhow)
After

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DIY Danielle: The Great Outdoors (Our Yard), Part I: Composting
The Great Outdoors (Our Yard), Part I: Composting
DIYDanielle blogs about her garden plans and composting.
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DIY Danielle
http://www.diydanielle.com/2013/01/the-great-outdoors-our-yard-part-i.html
http://www.diydanielle.com/
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