Our First Backyard Garden!

Project Description

What was your source for this garden project? Online Photo or Website Link to website or photo www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154212361380154&l=61a8b9553d What type of item is this? Plant or Flower How would you describe the style of your project? Cute How would you describe the style of your project? Traditional How would you describe the style of your project? Eco-Friendly What are you most proud of? I am very proud of my design. I spent a lot of time researching companion plantings. I am even more proud of how well the plants are doing! Everything is HUGE and happily growing. What advice would you give someone starting this project? Take your time designing the layout of your garden and definitely do companion plantings. I see a big difference in how well things are growing when planted w/companion plants.

What you will need

  • We planted our garden at the top of a hill in our backyard. So we had to build a retaining wall so we wouldn't lose our good soil and mulch. This also allowed us to backfill the garden with a local landscape companies Mushroom compost soil. (http://www.shenandoahsand.com/compost.htm) This compost is the key to how well our garden has taken off! We tilled the compost in w/our existing awful Virginia red clay soil. When we marked the area for our vegetable garden we decided to build a small fence around it to keep out the bunny rabbits (and our mini dachshunds)! So far it seems to be working. Our HOA won't allow a large deer fence but so far no problems. I weed regularly and we water every day we don't have rain. Our garden has really taken off and size of some of the plants amazes me. Why Mushroom Compost? Mushroom Compost is a totally organic
  • dark
  • rich
  • moist mixture of wheat straw
  • peat moss
  • cottonseed meal
  • cottonseed hulls
  • corncobs
  • cocoa bean shells
  • gypsum
  • lime
  • chicken litter
  • and /or horse stable bedding. This combination of ingredients is used in commercial mushroom farms to grow mushrooms. These materials are composted for many weeks and then placed into a huge room
  • where it is completely sterilized. After the sterilization is complete
  • the compost is then placed into growing trays
  • where the mushroom growing cycle begins. Strangely enough
  • mushrooms can only be grown in this mixture for a short period of time. At this time the compost has to be removed. Not because it is nutritionally depleted
  • but because the growing environment is very dark and moist and could be subject to invasion by fungi and bacteria. This could be devastating to the mushroom farm. After 18-20 days
  • the compost is removed
  • and a brand new batch is prepared for the next crop. The mushroom compost is loaded from the growing trays directly into huge trucks and then shipped. It never touches the ground until it arrives at their facility.

Q&A with Critty Howard

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