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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:12 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Kerrville,Texas
Last year I experimented with the idea of starting up a small backyard plant nursery. After checking into all the hoops the Ag department and tax people and local zoning people wont me to jump through, I canceled the nursery idea. But I did end up with a lot of nursery containers in the one, two, and 4 gallon size. Since I live on top of a ridge in the Texas hill country and only have, at most, about 2 inches of top soil over solid limestone rocks, container gardening is the way I need to go. This post is about some of the things I am learning to do as I go bucketing along.

First, the Lasagna bucket is one of the 4 gallon size. Layers of material areapproximately 2 inches thick. The bottom layer is dried stuff. Next layer is kitchen scraps, Third layer is soil. Just use your imagination and experiment as you continue to layer in your material. The top layer should be some type of growing mix. I am using Earths Finest Landscape Mix bought from Lowes as a growing mix. Now you plant the top layer with some kind of plant that will make lots of green stuff and let it grow. That could be just about anything as long as the final result is lots of green stuff. If you plant something like alfalfa and it grows well just keep cutting it for greens and let it grow again. Any kind of cut-and-come-again would be a good choice but if its just a one time crop thats OK too. I have only grown one bucket so far in which I had planted lawn grass. Did it look like finished compost? Well.....not exactly but it wasnt bad, you couldnt even recognize any of the kitchen scraps. :D The grass thought it was great stuff and grew well. The idea here is to use these 4 gallon containers to create a sort of pre-compost to throw into a larger pile to finish off. No use letting the buckets go to waste if you can grow something and compost at the same time. Sort of a miniature version of lasagna gardening. Im going to load up a whole bunch of of the four gallon containers with compostable stuff and plant different types of compost crops in them, fast growing stuff like buckwheat for example. Has anyone on this forum ever experimented with composting in a bucket before?


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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 5:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:15 am
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Location: Odenville,Alabama
That's cool!
I'll have to try that one sometime.

Happy Gardening!

_________________
The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
William Cureton


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 Post subject: compost assembly line
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:12 pm
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Location: Kerrville,Texas
Thanks for replying. I could use some advise about what Im trying to do as I am not an old hand at composting in large amounts. Ive got four more buckets filled and planted now.I have graduated from growing grass to some other crops in the buckets, using seeds I happen to have on hand. I had some packages of sprouting seeds from the health food store. One is alfalfa which I havent planted yet. The one I did plant in the lasagna bucket and in about 20 one gallon pots is called "Favorite Five", a mixture of Alfalfa, (40%), cabbage (20%), Lentils (20%), Mung beans (l5%) and Radish (5%). I plan on planting lots of different stuff in the one and two gallon pots (500 one gallon and about 100 two gallon size). I will keep the four gallon pot (about fifty of those) for the lasagna bucket technique. The bucket brigade is now in motion. :roll:

I have already planted 20 one gallon pots each in cowpeas, sweet basil, chard, Nasturtiums, and Amaranth. The peas are off and running, leading the way. I just broadcast all that stuff in the pots on top of Earths Finest Landscape mix and everything is sprouting and looking good. I used that landscape mix for everything last year and it does fine. I quit doing all that eddikated seed starting stuff. I just throw the seeds in the pot and if they wont to sprout thats fine, If not.....who needs them. The compost express is on the way and I aint got no time for dilly-dallying.

So that is the game plan and I am doing a lot of research but would appreciate some advise on what would be the best plants to use. I need as much bulk as I can get from (hopefully) some fast growers but seems the fast growers are usually long on water and short on bulk. I would like to use as many different type plants as possible for the different type nutrients they would add to the compost but would especially be interested in a compost plant that supplies lots of dried bulk to supply the browns for the compost pile. What do you think?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:12 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Kerrville,Texas
This forum may not be dead but seems to have been on life support for a long time. One final post before I move on. The Lasagna bucket idea works pretty good for me but only because I have a surplus of 4 gallon nursery pots to play with. Growing green stuff in the top of these "compost" buckets does require constant watering and that leads to wet anerobic conditions inside the buckets. It dont stink untill you start dumping the bucket and then it is pretty ripe.

I had 16 buckets composting along before I found the time to compleat a 4X4 foot compost bin to dump them in. When dumped in the compost bin, that anerobic stuff really was active and helped create a good hot pile that is really shrinking fast.

If I do any more of this stuff, I will do it different. I will not plant in the top of the buckets which requires watering and creates an anerobic condition. Since I now have a large compost pile, the bucket brigade really is not necessary and just results in unnecessary labor. However, if I was using fast composting rotating barrel type composters, I can see where an assemble line of buckets would work great for pre-composting material to be placed in the barrels. Over a years time, you could probably create a lot more compost faster using this method.

One thing that is handy about the 4 gallon buckets is that they are just the right size to mix the contents of of my kitchen compost pail and my paper shredder along with grass clippins or other vegetable matter and some soil in. So I will keep experimenting with this set-up but will no longer plant green stuff in top of the buckets. I think that will work better. I may come back next year and talk with myself about it some. :?


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