Raised bed #1, rock dust and garden restart

First 4 x 8 raised bed installed:

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This area used to be a patch of lawn. 8 months ago, the area was covered with newspaper, cardboard, compost and planters (in that order). The sod underneath slowly decomposed. When the raised bed was ready to be installed, the ground was leveled (using good old shovel work).

The bed was filled with a mix of yard dirt and compost from the landfill. I amended the soil with vermicompost, blood meal, bone meal and my latest discovery — glacial rock dust. Rock dust is a source of trace minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, to name a few). This whole time I’ve focused on amending my soils with organic matter, a great source of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, but neglected to address the need to replenish trace minerals.

(Side note: I found out about rock dust because I was lazy to remove rocks from my soil. I wondered if rocks provided minerals to the soil, started researching sources of trace minerals and eventually came across rock dust.)

Today I planted seed garlic (Georgian Fire and Samarkand varieties), purchased from Seed Savers Exchange, as well as some Dragon carrots.

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Also started the following seeds in the germination tray:

  • Save the Bees Wildflower Mix
  • Calendula
  • Foxglove
  • Pansies
  • Petunia
  • Ching Chang bok choy (yes, that’s really the name of this variety)
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Speckled lettuce
  • Cipolini onions
  • Flat of Italy red onions
  • Shallots

Seeds were purchased from Seed Savers Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and Peaceful Valley.

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Vermicompost harvest

I took another hiatus from gardening…my container garden ended up getting neglected, which isn’t such a bad thing considering the drought.

But I’ve still been composting kitchen scraps in my worm bin. The top tray of my multi-level worm bin is almost full, so I figured this was prime time to harvest the black gold from the starter tray. Here’s about 10 gallons worth of mature vermicompost (started January 9):

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There were still some straggler worms in this tray, but the majority of them have already migrated to the top tray. So all I had to do was dump this onto my garden bed and mix it into the soil.

Oh yeah, I have a raised garden bed now. Picture and post to come soon.