Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts


A Four Seasons Greenhouse and the Winter Crops to Grow for #Christmas Feasting

A greenhouse for growing vegetables, winter greenhouse crops and starting my garden seeds has been on my backyard plan wish list for quite some time now

Winter Greenhouse
VIA Rhonda Fleming Hayes (Some Rights Reserved)

During a cold, Canadian winter, the produce section at the market, or grocery store, can begin to look a bit bleak once the last of the local produce disappears for the year. When produce tags and stickers on the peppers, apples, and other fruits and veggies start appearing from origins on the other side of the planet, I try my best to avoid them. I do not mean to sound picky or ungrateful and I am not, I just have a hard time stomaching the whole idea of these foods being shipped from far off lands when they could quite easily be grown right where I live.

Leading back into my greenhouse plans... So many wonderful, extremely healthy crops can be grown through the winter with an appropriately designed greenhouse right in your backyard, even in a land known primarily for it's igloos, hockey, and the toque! I am determined to find the best and most affordable solution to my winter gardening and vegetable quandary.


Grow. Eat. Compost. Repeat. Part 2 - The Compost Pail, Bins, Tumblers, and Tea Makers

Composting may already be part of your household routine. If so, you are most likely already aware of the importance of recycling your food waste and the many benefits of collecting nature’s best organic fertilizer and garden mulch. If you are not already composting, it is time to start! Take away food waste from your household garbage; you may be extremely surprised how little refuse is left for the garbage man (after appropriately recycling the other recyclable materials, of course).

Usually, I do not like to start off a post directing my readers to do this, or that, or forcing my opinion on anyone. When it comes to something as important as the health of our fragile ecosystem, I cannot help myself.

I am sure none of us like to admit that we actually waste food when there are people starving around the world. However, food waste does result from cooking, eating and snacking throughout the day, whether we like to admit it, or not… And we all must eat!

Considering this is my second (actually, third) post about compost, only exemplifies how strongly I feel about the many benefits of composting. Part 1 of my composting series, Grow. Eat. Compost. Repeat. A Beginner’s Guide to Composting focuses more on the why’s, what’s, and how to’s of DIY home composting. I felt the need write this second installment of Grow. Eat. Compost. Repeat. because not everyone is necessarily interested in another DIY project and may be considering a more desirable, somewhat ‘cleaner’ way, to compost at home. Be it a simple, store bought, composting pail or bin, an elaborate Compost Tumbler, or costly Compost Tea Maker, the options are many. 

Follow me and let's take a closer look at these composting products... 


Vertical Vegetables, on a Platter of Raised Garden Bed.

Vertical gardening, landscaping and roof top gardens, have all been a fascination of mine for many years now. When you can’t grow out, why not grow up? The plants want to grow there anyway. It is wonderful to see that these progressive and sustainable landscaping ideas are becoming such a growing trend in the dense urban centers of many countries around the world. Let the cities breath!

Recently, I have been collecting together heaps of new and inspiring edible landscaping ideas to evaluate which will best suit my new urban edible garden design. My ultimate goal is a micro-farm, or “Urban Homestead”. I want to be growing as many of the vegetables, fruits and herbs that my family will need for the year, at home, on our small urban plot of land. As I have mentioned in previous posts, vertical gardening will ultimately be the best way to utilize my small space. Once I have decided on which vertical garden designs and techniques will best suit the gardens here, this will be a large part of the additions to the garden of next year.

The yard I am now working with has been green lawn for many years... This means, in order to transform the area into ground level garden space a whole heck of a lot of back breaking work will be required! Raised garden beds will be the perfect solution. Again, I am still pondering the exact design. I want to find the most cost efficient way of building the beds, as the installation of the vertical gardens and changes that will be needed to the irrigation system could be somewhat costly to ‘the old cookie jar’! Let’s just say, I have my work cut out for me if all goes as planned!

In closing… Throughout all of the information I have found recently, the best way to utilize the space in my new edible landscape (aka back yard) design will be to grow up, up and up! Vegetables gardens away!

Be sure to check back for new DIY, vertically enhancing, garden ideas and designs that I will be searching out throughout the winter.

Have a great vertical garden design idea you wish to share? Please add a link or comment below for moderation.  

While you are here, check out these 39 Insanely Cool Vertical Gardens! The gardens compiled in the list are absolutely incredible! Vertical Garden Design and Patrick Blanc’s latest vertical garden are also some awesome examples of vertical gardens and landscaping. Enjoy!

Follow this blog @DrylandGardens. Follow me @JessyAnneTucker.

Thanks for reading:) ~ Your Blogging Gardener


Grow, Eat, Compost, Repeat! A Beginner's Guide to Composting

October 10, 2013 Update 

Visit Part 2 - The Compost Pail, Bins, Tumblers, and Tea Makers!

Original Post

The dreaded compost pile, composting bins, expensive tumblers, DIY backyard compost designs, worms, compost tea… Where to start? Well, whether it is a simple bucket out in the garden or an elaborate, state of the art Compost Tumblerthe most important part is to just start composting! 

After writing last month’s post 1 Part Compost + 1 Part Top Soil = 2 Happy Raised Vegetable Garden Beds & Some Massive Zucchinis! and watching the continued success of my mother’s garden throughout the summer, I have decided that a compost bin in the backyard is a must. Thinking about it has gone on long enough!

I was surprised when I moved into my new home that there was not an existing compost bin or pile somewhere in the yard, considering the well-kept yard and garden that the previous owner’s kept. Being accustomed to having some sort of compost area in the yard (or chickens), I quickly noticed how much household waste and recycling is eliminated by a simple compost bin. I will be the first to admit, I have taken composting for granted!

The 1:1 ratio of compost to top soil was perfect for her raised beds. The vegetable garden has produced an endless supply of gigantic zucchinis and beautiful tomatoes, with bowls full of peppers soon to come. If it were not for this rich compost mix I wonder if there would be the same results…

I have been trying to decide the best way to go about this new composting area for the yard. The typical plastic Compost Bin is great for a season or two, but they always seem to loose shape in sun and weather after a while. I wanted to find a more creative, attractive and unnoticeable way of composting, without spending a fortune on a store bought composting bin, or tumbler. The best, creative composting ideas I found have been pinned to the Creative Composting Ideas Pinterest Board for your viewing. I never considered “hiding” your compost bin, I will be taking advantage of that idea. I know the perfect place. I love the Composting for Kids Pin, what a smart idea!

I have included the following links to informative sites and pages discussing how and what to compost, homemade compost bins, Do It Yourself composting tumblers, worm composting, as well as, a great guide to concocting your own nutrient rich compost tea.

How to compost     How To

What to compost     Organic Composting ingredients.
Composting Bins     Sunset.comBuild The Perfect Compost Bin
                     ~ Tumbleweed Compost Bin, 58-Gallon

The Greater Vancouver Regional District provides extremely detailed plans for a helpful Rodent Resistant Three Bin Compost System. Although, it would be lovely to have this elaborate compost system for the backyard it might be slightly overkill for what I have in mind right.  

Is it worth it to buy a Compost Tumbler though?  
Check out the discussion at

Worm Composting information and supplies

Making Compost Tea
Making a good compost tea is definitely a form of fine art. As I searched around online, it was quickly evident that there are many different ways to brew up a batch of rich, organic compost tea; some simple and some quite complex.

Interested in learning more about making compost tea? Watch this YouTube video, E-Z Compost Tea (Simplest Method on Earth). Please watch this before purchasing a brand new $650 Compost Tea Maker!

We all should be composting. There are so many different options for composting at home, many urban centers now have large scale composting programs in place, there is no excuse! As the 'old recycling motto' goes, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.
Happy Composting!