Build it and The Decomposers Will Come


I’m creating my new vegetable beds via compost sandwiches this year. While I’m getting them put together a little later than I had hoped for – they are coming together. I still have plenty of months ahead before the serious spring rolls back around. I’m thrilled knowing that the compost sandwiches are going to call in the decomposers of the world through the cold months.

And I haven’t met a decomposer I didn’t like. Both microorganism and macroorganism construction crews are some of the most honest workers you’ll ever meet and they’ll take the sod on my back lawn and make it heaven-on-earth for next year’s vegetable seedlings.

When everything is constructed, I’ll put a proper post on Vegetable But I wanted to show you what I’ve been up to the past couple of days. Husband extraordinaire built three bed frames on top of our back lawn. Why three? Everything in gardening looks better in odd numbers – it’s a design thing.

Note that we’re leaving the grass patches in between the beds. Not only does it look nice, but it’s great for foot paths during planting and harvesting. In suburbia, we typically don’t have wide expansions of land, so traipsing mud into the house is almost certain – the lawn will cut back on that.

There’s no law that says you have to frame your compost sandwich – it isn’t necessary. We just wanted to. The total on the wood and screws for the frames was $66.00 ($22.00 per bed). We had been collecting cardboard anything that came out of our home for the past month or so. Then we took the cardboard and spread it out inside the beds over every piece of lawn. This is the first layer. Among the cardboard is a lot of cereal, pizza, and snack boxes.
This first layer of future garden soil was completely free.

While we’ve always put our cardboard into the recycle bin (and indeed, this is suppose to be the best eco-way to reuse paper products), I’m now irrationally attached to any cardboard going out the door.