Just to shock you a little I’m going to show you a small part of my derelict farm that I’ve moved into. But it’s not only for shock value.
I’ve just taken a tiny bit of dirt right next to my kitchen door that had a rain water tank sitting on it, with a bougainvillea growing next to (and through) it. We had plans to use the tank, but when we moved it we discovered that the bottom was entirely rusted out. So with a bit of hard thinking, I reakon it’ll make two great duck or geese ponds once it’s cut in half and the bottom of each half lined with a cement base.
So here’s a photo of how the area was when I first bought the farm. It’s to the left of the photo. You can also see the entrance to my kitchen door – that’s how close it is.
Now this next photo is once the tank and the bougainvillea have been removed. That plant survived 30 or more years without any care whatsoever. What an amazing plant. But I would never plant such a prickly and rampant plant so close to a path or entrance – silly people!
Yes, it’s messy, but it didn’t take me long to clean it up once I got started. Oh, and it was hot too!
Below is how it looked after the clean up. I dug up the “soil” (code name for really hard, compacted dirt) because where the tank had been sitting nothing would have grown. It was almost like concrete. But I’m a firm believer in dirt becoming soil over time. Just keep adding organic material.
I also raked over the area quite a bit to try to get some kind of medium tilth as I planned to sow seeds directly in the soil. I removed all stones and broke down any large clods of dirt.
Now came the really fun part. I cheated a bit and bought a punnet of mixed lettuce and planted them. But everything else that went in was from my own seeds that I had saved from last (or previous) year/s. I put in radish, red salad onions, coriander, basil, lebanese zuchinni… think that’s it.
Once the planting/sowing was done I covered the rest of the area with pea-straw mulch. Mulching has so many benefits for the garden. And the main benefit I needed immediately was for the area to stay moist for as long as possible.
I don’t have mains water here, so I’m watering EVERYTHING with a watering can from rainwater that I’ve collected. I tell you, it keeps you on your toes. Now I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you want to grow your own food and don’t have mains… well, what’s a girl to do? Use a watering can!
The mulch is about 7 or 8mm thick (3 inches) I suppose. The other thing I urge you to do when sowing your seeds is to label them with the variety and the date they were sowed. If you don’t remember when you put them in, you might just be tempted to have a dig around to see if anything’s happening. BAD MOVE! Just label them and wait. If they don’t come up, just put more in, simple!
So that’s my new plot, right next to my kitchen. I love it being so close. Of course there are more things to consider when you’re creating a new plot. If you’re a beginner to organic gardening you might be interested in my e-manual “Organic Food Gardening Beginners Manual“, to help you get started.
Happy Organic Gardening, Healthy Living…
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