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malhouse (2)

Help me grow great greens

I suck at gardening. Past gardening efforts have ended in disaster (bug infestations, groundhog eating everything, plants dying for no obvious reason that I can see). This year, though, I would like for it to be different. I would like to grow my own leafy greens--kale, spinach, lettuces, chard, collards, etc. I'm not so interested in other things like tomatoes and peppers. Do you have any advice for exactly what I need to do to grow great greens? [more inside]
posted by whistle pig on Mar 15, 2014 - 17 answers

 

Composting for Dummies

I'd like to start composting... I think. I am lazy and I am worried about vermin. What style of composter do I need? Any special tips for buying/getting started with a system? [more inside]
posted by nkknkk on May 6, 2013 - 15 answers

Decent garden center south of Pittsburgh?

I'm going to help my brother install a raised bed and some fruit trees/bushes in a couple of weeks. We're probably going to be putting in some raspberries/blackberries, blueberries, and maybe a few fruit trees. I do not want to purchase diseased/generic junk at a big box. Is there a decent garden center in the West Newton area? Bonus points for tipping me off to somebody who can deliver a yard or three of garden soil/compost. Many thanks!
posted by Camofrog on Feb 14, 2013 - 3 answers

How do I use my compost?

I have a 3-year old, ~28 cubic ft. compost pile in my backyard that is contained in an uncovered chicken-wire cylinder. I do not touch it aside from adding compostable material to it, but I haven't added anything for several months. What I can see on the top of the pile is not broken down. I don't know anything about using compost in gardens other than what I've Googled, and it all seems to be tailored for people who put way more effort into their compost than I do. What do I need to do to get it ready to put into my raised-bed vegetable garden this spring, and how, specifically, do I actually use it in my garden? Should I mix it in with a particular kind of soil, or should I put a layer of compost and a layer of something else? I have a shovel and some other very basic gardening supplies, but I don't have a pitchfork, and I cannot afford additional equipment like a tumbler. I've seen this previous question.
posted by quiet coyote on Feb 7, 2013 - 8 answers

Looking for lesson plans - Recycling Specific

I am compiling a collection of K-12 lesson plans on waste reduction/recycling/reuse/composting etc. Where are the best places to look? [more inside]
posted by DaveZ on Jan 15, 2013 - 3 answers

Container gardens

Is coarse sand a cheap alternative to perlite, coconut coir or vermiculite when you want to use it in container garden? [more inside]
posted by boby on Aug 7, 2012 - 8 answers

I'm lazy and have no real yard. Do I still get to compost my kitchen scraps?

Are there any truly low maintenance, foolproof systems for low volume patio composting? And is it worth doing, if all I have is a patio where I can have potted plants of any size, but no yard to plant stuff in? [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes on Jun 17, 2012 - 10 answers

Urban composting: where to begin?

Urban composting: where to begin? [more inside]
posted by morninj on May 5, 2012 - 6 answers

How do I use compost tea in my indoor garden?

How can I best use "compost tea" on my potted herbs (and what should I avoid)? [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket on Mar 28, 2012 - 5 answers

Can this compost be saved?

Did I ruin my compost? [more inside]
posted by southern_sky on Aug 28, 2011 - 4 answers

Please recommend a kitchen compost bucket...

Please recommend a kitchen compost bucket... [more inside]
posted by lemonade on Aug 19, 2011 - 27 answers

Help me be a better King George. How do I properly grow a colony?

I found an ant queen under a pile of compost in the garden. I've taken her, some of her colony, and a few larve/eggs and I put them in a mason jar. They've lived on my desk for about a week. The larve are all gone now, I suspect they've matured. And I just found where they hid the queen and it looks like she's starting to lay again. Now what? [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Aug 15, 2011 - 12 answers

Gloop disposal ideas?

What can I do with the gloopy sludge that resulted from my failed composting? [more inside]
posted by malhouse on Jul 24, 2011 - 11 answers

Worm composting bin overfloweth!

Two months into my vermicomposting and my worms are still alive, which means something must be going right. The bad news is I'm crushing them with vegetable matter. How can I keep my compost from overflowing? [more inside]
posted by SpicyMustard on May 4, 2011 - 8 answers

Raised Bed vs. Traditional Gardening

I have a plot in a community garden. I'm trying to decide if I want to use the raised bed/square foot gardening method or just use the soil that's already there. [more inside]
posted by chara on May 1, 2011 - 10 answers

Making a DIY dog septic system.

Thoughts on a dog septic tank? [more inside]
posted by no bueno on Apr 1, 2011 - 13 answers

Who might want my compost?

I'm moving interstate and don't want to take my compost + worms with me, but I don't want to just throw it away. Any suggestions for how to find people who might want it? [more inside]
posted by Joe Chip on Feb 13, 2011 - 8 answers

How do I keep my yard scrap cart from getting gunked up by my kitchen scraps?

RecologyFillter: Those of you Bay Area residents who've received the Recology yard scrap and recycling carts, how do you manage your kitchen scraps in a way that doesn't muck up the inside of the cart too badly and create a stinky mess? [more inside]
posted by choochoo on Dec 20, 2010 - 12 answers

Compost today, garden next spring?

I've got a great big compost pile, I'd like to make it vegetable-growing ready by spring. Advice? [more inside]
posted by nevercalm on Oct 31, 2010 - 7 answers

Help me cancel my trash pick up!

How can I get rid of my trash? My garbage pick up service has raised their prices and I cannot afford it. I am sure that there is a solution that I am not thinking of. [more inside]
posted by futz on Oct 21, 2010 - 32 answers

Maggots ate my brain, er, compost

Hello, Backyard Gardeners! So, I went to check on my compost bin and discovered a maggot invasion (warning: kind of gross) and I'd like to know if you have any advice. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Sep 17, 2010 - 18 answers

Compost in Vancouver

My partner and I live in a one bedroom apartment in Vancouver. How do we deal with our food waste? [more inside]
posted by ndicecco on Sep 6, 2010 - 9 answers

How do we reap when our beds are turning?

Questions about soil preparation and space planning for garden beds [more inside]
posted by tkolstee on Jun 14, 2010 - 10 answers

Is a compost pile ever "done?"

Newbie composting question: How is your compost ever "done" if you keep adding new kitchen scraps and material to it? [more inside]
posted by mamessner on May 31, 2010 - 15 answers

Fly poop --> compost?

Compost question: can I turn this gloopy wet black soldier fly manure into usable compost? [more inside]
posted by malhouse on May 23, 2010 - 7 answers

Help me find out where my food comes from & how it's disposed when living in Europe.

I'm having a hard time finding information about the agriculture and trash systems & practices in Europe. Basically I'd like to know where my food comes from and how waste is disposed of when living there. When I pick up a piece of produce from Portugal, I want to understand what that means. [more inside]
posted by scazza on Mar 31, 2010 - 5 answers

giftfilter: compost guide for a noob

My Mom has a birthday coming up. She's very interested in beginning to compost at her home. Can you recommend a good book, guide, or other handy something something that would be especially handy for an older (retired) noob that I could give as a present?
posted by Ufez Jones on Mar 8, 2010 - 9 answers

Composter without a bin?

I want to compost, but don't have any good options at present. Can I just throw my organic waste into the bushes and let nature do its thing? [more inside]
posted by nicoleincanada on Nov 22, 2009 - 21 answers

What vegetables are best to plant in a plot filled with unrefined compost?

What vegetables are best to plant in a plot filled with unrefined compost? [more inside]
posted by jeremias on Jun 2, 2009 - 12 answers

Are there any major downsides to becoming a human garbage disposal?

Are there any downsides to becoming a human garbage disposal? I'm tired of composting and/or throwing out vegetable material. Would there be any seriously ill effects if I just started eating all of the vegetal "waste," i.e. peels, rinds, seeds, myself? What about egg shells?
posted by mrgrimm on May 21, 2009 - 33 answers

Is my buried pet a problem?

We buried our euthanized cat in our back yard. The vet told us that she would be poisonous to any animal that might dine on her remains, so bury her deep. Here's my question: What effect do euthanasia drugs have on the natural decomposition of animal remains? Will her body kill all the worms, bugs and microbes that would normally stop by for a meal? Will this have a negative impact on the adjacent ornamental garden plants?
posted by Carmody'sPrize on May 6, 2009 - 11 answers

Composting pet waste in a very cold climate?

We live in Vermont and have very long winters. I would like to start composting our pet waste (we have two smallish dogs) but all of the options I have found online are in-ground septic-type systems that do not function when soil temperatures drop. I am specifically looking for advice from someone who has discovered or built a system that operates reliably in colder temperatures. [more inside]
posted by turtlegirl on Apr 23, 2009 - 7 answers

What's he growing in there?

Can you identify this plant? The soil used for the flowerbed came from the compost bin, so it could be any number of vegetables -- I just don't recognize it. [more inside]
posted by waitangi on Apr 6, 2009 - 14 answers

Compost Gift

I want to give my wife the gift of compost... [more inside]
posted by avrobie on Dec 18, 2008 - 19 answers

Can my composter be turned away from the dark (and smelly) side of putrefaction?

When good composters go bad, can a putrefying composter be turned back to composting? [more inside]
posted by fenriq on Dec 4, 2008 - 19 answers

Is dirty latex safe?

Compost & painted wood walls, is it a good mix? [more inside]
posted by pokeedog on Sep 30, 2008 - 10 answers

A ridiculous question about banana peels

Are banana peels contagious? [more inside]
posted by non-kneebiter on Aug 26, 2008 - 10 answers

What do I need to know to start an outdoor compost pile?

I want to start composting, but I'm clueless: what do I need to know? [more inside]
posted by davidriley on May 16, 2008 - 24 answers

Where should kitchen scraps be collected before going to the bin?

What should keep my kitchen scraps in before taking them to the yard waste bin? [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library on Feb 27, 2008 - 15 answers

No more roast worms! Or worm-icicles, for that matter.

My amazing awesome husband got me a composter! Yeah! Now what do I do with it? [more inside]
posted by jujube on Jan 11, 2008 - 8 answers

Grinding up kitchen scraps?

I want to grind up kitchen scraps such as banana peels, avocado skins and orange peels so they compost faster. I've looked around, and the closest type of grinder I can find is what is called a meat chopper or "meat grinder". Will this work for tough vegetable matter or will it break or jam? Will it take forever? [more inside]
posted by kamelhoecker on Oct 8, 2007 - 10 answers

What sort of garden shredder should we get?

We've got a garden. We don't have a car. Soon, the garden is going to change and produce a lot of waste vegetation (that hedge has to go, etc. etc.). So I'm looking at purchasing a garden shredder, and I realise I know nothing about this sort of thing. Is a petrol powered shredder that much better than a good electric one? Is there anything else I should know about these machines? [more inside]
posted by handee on Sep 2, 2007 - 7 answers

Citrus shells as compost

Why would somebody leave whole, juiced orange halves on their lawn? [more inside]
posted by slightlybewildered on Jul 16, 2007 - 15 answers

mouse pee + compost = ?

Any reason not to use mouse bedding in the compost? [more inside]
posted by Ogre Lawless on Apr 24, 2007 - 10 answers

What can I do with a couple hundred pounds of sour oranges?

What can I do with a couple hundred pounds of sour oranges? [more inside]
posted by Optimus Chyme on Apr 30, 2006 - 14 answers

What do I need to know before I start vermicomposting?

What do I need to know before I start vermicomposting (a là Woms Eat My Garbage)? [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone on Mar 8, 2006 - 8 answers

Info on self-contained composting toilets

Recommendations for composting toilets, please. [more inside]
posted by ottereroticist on Dec 9, 2005 - 3 answers

hot shit

Does microbial activity in the gut of organisms contribute to their thermoregulation? [more inside]
posted by yesster on Oct 3, 2005 - 7 answers

Urban Compost

SolidWasteFilter (oh boy!):
How to deal with compost in an urban setting. [more inside]
posted by Hackworth on Oct 25, 2004 - 12 answers

Compost and Earthworms

Can I put earthworms into a rotating composter? I have one of those drum kinds that sit off the ground on a rack that spin around for aeration. The spinning takes the place of the earthworm action in the traditional pile, but I've heard that you can put worms in the spinning drums as well to speed up the decompostion process.
posted by archimago on Apr 12, 2004 - 11 answers

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