4.02.2011

The Dirt on... Dirt?

Ok, so as I was daydreaming about the garden, how I can't wait to dig in and get dirty, I was struck with a thought. Uh, I have no dirt! I haven't got a clue about where to find it. I know a landscaper would be an obvious choice, but I am worried about the price. Where did all of you with raised beds find your dirt??

Today I made 32 seed mats using the tutorial from Granny over at Annie's Kitchen Garden. It really is simple to do, relatively quick, and I am definitely down with the not wasting seed thing. I would like to waste as little as possible, considering the costs going into the garden start up this year (yikes!) Anyways, I made mats (4 each) of Purple Haze carrots, Danver's Half Long carrots, Rainbow carrots, Javelin parsnips, and several lettuces, Black Seeded Simpson, 4 Seasons Red, Lolla Rosa, and Tetue De Nimes (all are leaf lettuces, I still have to make mats for the romaine lettuce.)

The Plant-Eating-She-Devil Punkin and her sidekick Miss Scaredy Pants Charlotte (no pics because she is so elusive) have been feasting on my kale and broccoli plants (which will now need to be replanted from seed), and have succumbed to the dreaded over eating syndrome - cat puke. It's gross, but they never seem to learn their lesson, do they?

7 comments:

  1. I couldn't get anywhere clicking on "tutorial" link. I wanted to really see what seed mats are all about. I guess I missed that blog from Granny!

    I have to call up local nurseries and see if they have bulk cow manure(recommended by Granny) Otherwise I usually get my compost from local recycling place.

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  2. Do you have a pickup? If not can you borrow one? Try googling horse boarding ranches in your area. I know you're urban, but you might be surprised. They'll have plenty of composted manure. Show up early, that's when they feed the horses, and they'll appreciate the company. We don't use raised beds, but that's where we get our compost. Maybe it's a long shot, but who knows. They could help you fill your boxes.

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  3. RG, I will try to fix the link, however, if you go to Granny's blog, the link for the seed mats is on the side bar, pretty close to the top. I think she just calls it Seed Mat Tutorial...

    Jody, thanks for the tip! I did order 2 cubic yds of compost from the Cleveland Zoo, otherwise known as ZooPoo :) Now, I just have to figure out where to get the other 6 cubic yds I need...

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  4. I got "top soil" from my nearby nursery. It was pretty cheap, I think around $10 a yard, which was 2 pickup loads for our Ranger. I dumped it in the middle of the driveway, then went back for a yard of "dairy compost" (cow poop). I dumped that in the driveway, too. I mixed them about half and half, threw in a bit of peat moss and filled most of my boxes. When I ran out, I got another load of "dairy compost" (cow poop), and just dumped it into the remaining boxes and planted seeds. I think the straight composted cow poop grew the greatest plants.

    I'm out of dirt now, too. I have three huge planters to fill for flowers in my front yard. A half yard of soil would be too much, so I'm probably going to have to buy it by the bagful at Wal-Mart :-(

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  5. Since we live in an urban environment, it's really hard to find dirt / compost here that can be delivered. We resorted to buying bags of the stuff from Home Depot / Lowes. http://nycgardening.blogspot.com/2010/10/if-you-wondered-what-800-pounds-of-dirt.html

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  6. I bring it home from Lowe's in my trunk in multiple trips. I put a plastic tarp over the bottom of the truck and up the sides to protect them. They would probably deliver, though, for a charge.

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  7. Let's see, she says, counting on her fingers. I fit about half a cubic yard in the trunk at a time. I buy the stuff in 1 cu ft bags, because it is heavy, esp. if it is wet.

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