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Aug 2017
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Coffee ground topdressing

Blog reader Tami wrote in last week to share her success with coffee grounds in her Mississippi garden. When she moved to her new home in the suburbs, she resolved to only buy plants if they were productive in some way. This was made more difficult due to her "standard Mississippi dirt with two inches of topsoil over clay."

Luckily, Tami was ingenious. She wrote:

"I made a deal with my local coffee shop and pick up 2 five gallon buckets of used coffee grounds and filters every other day. They were throwing it in a landfill in plastic garbage bags and complaining about how heavy their garbage was."

Coffee ground compost pile

With her source of organic matter taken care of, the only question was how to manage the bounty that flowed into her small yard. Tami explained:

"There is magic in the compost pile. I have put over 100 gallons of coffee grounds straight under my river birch to make a soft meditation spot in front of the buddha, and the grounds are brown and spent looking and kind of lifeless. But the coffee that goes into the compost pile is dark rich and teeming with life.

"This pile is about a year old and I think the best thing I did for it was get some mushrooms started in it. They fruit often because I love to go out and water it in the evenings. (If you haven't caught the Joe Rogan podcast with Paul Stamets - drop everything and go listen. It is riveting.)"


Coffee ground garden

With the help of her thrice-weekly coffee-grounds pickup, Tami's edibles are now thriving and filling her plate. "I have an amazing little productive back yard," she told me, "with herbs, vegetables, and fruit, including bananas, figs, and muscadine grapes."

Doesn't that make you want to go out and make a deal with the local coffee shop? I know it does for me! Thanks for sharing, Tami. You are my inspiration for the week.

Posted Thu Aug 16 06:32:39 2018 Tags:

waterlily flowers

Huckleberry didn't eat us, nor did we fall into a hole. We're just experiencing technical difficulties. Hopefully your regularly scheduled posts will be back soon!

Posted Wed Aug 15 19:32:53 2018 Tags:
Anna and her Mom at museum.

We enjoyed the Kennedy Museum of Art so much we went back for a repeat visit.

Posted Tue Aug 14 06:00:41 2018 Tags:
Basket of peaches

I dropped by one set of foster peaches this past weekend to see how their pruning and thinning had done. Success! Actual ripe peaches.

Peach brown rot

Unfortunately, the taller limbs that I'd left in the interest of not pruning the tree too hard all at once (then hadn't thinned the fruits on since I couldn't reach them) were full of brown rot. I think I'll be brave and whack the top off the tree this winter, water sprouts or no water sprouts.

Posted Mon Aug 13 06:00:42 2018 Tags:
Anna pretending to work at a book store

No....Anna did not get a job working at a book store.

She just likes to illustrate what it would be like to carry around all the books she keeps on her Kindle and why she now prefers Kindle over a hard copy.

Posted Sun Aug 12 06:00:25 2018 Tags:
Deer outside the garden

Deer licking lipsI take an inordinate amount of pleasure in watching the deer walk by the garden and stare at my vegetables.

This doe was literally licking her lips, but those brussels sprouts and squash are all mine!

Posted Sat Aug 11 06:00:37 2018 Tags:
Columbus Art Museum

You can lead a driftwood horse to Art.....but you can't make him appreciate it.

Posted Fri Aug 10 06:00:51 2018 Tags:
Broccoli starts

Our second set of fall broccoli is outgrowing its pots and ready to hit the garden. But is the garden ready for it?

Planting broccoli in gaps

Eight of my 38 plants fit easily into gaps in the summer garden. Which left quite a few in need of a home.

Broccoli in halfway composted manure

The beds I'd intended for them are built from partially composted manure...which looks much less composted than I'd thought. I set out four test plants and will check back in a few days to see if broccoli is one of the plants that can handle such strong not-quite compost. Squash and raspberries, I've learned, can. Asparagus and blueberries cannot.

Posted Thu Aug 9 06:00:50 2018 Tags:
Hobbit door at learning garden OU.

A nice Hobbit door protects the Ohio University learning and research garden.

Posted Wed Aug 8 06:00:29 2018 Tags:
Buckwheat flowers

For most of the year, we've been barely building garden beds in time to fill them with productive plants. But in July we got a little ahead --- time to plant buckwheat!

Beds of cover crops

Germination was a bit spotty with only hand-watering, and I didn't put a kill mulch in the aisles until the buckwheat was already up so had to mulch pretty far in to kill all the weeds. Still, it's so satisfying watching the garden enrich itself!

Up this week --- filling any small gaps that won't be used this winter with oats. The garden finally feels like it belongs to me now that I'm planting cover crops.

Posted Tue Aug 7 06:00:33 2018 Tags:

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