How to Start Composting

Join Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she shares how to start composting. Join Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she shares how to start composting. Composting is a great way to recycle the way that God recycles!

How to start composting

What is compost? What are the types?

Compost is basically decomposed waste matter from animals or plants. It is a major component of soil and returns nutrients to the earth so that new life can grow. Insects, earthworms, microbes, and fungi all feed on compost. Through their activities, they fix nitrogen, produce vitamins, and make minerals available to plants, who in turn, provide things that these organisms need. We usually think of compost as animal compost from rabbits, chickens, or cows. But, there’s also worm compost (also known as vermicomposting) and vegetable compost.

Why you should try it over fertilizers

Briefly, fertilizers only feed the plant and only for one season. Fertilizers also tend to promote above ground growth while the roots remain shallow and underdeveloped. In contrast, compost offers long-term benefits for plants and the soil. It is cheap, anyone with a yard can do it, and by enriching the soil, compost insures healthy plants for years. Julie discusses additional reasons on the podcast.

Worm composting versus vegetable composting

If you need compost right away, worm composting is the way to go. But, make sure you have the right worms and the right equipment! On the podcast, Julie shares her story of what happens when you try to cut corners. Don’t do what she did. If you want to know how to start composting this year in preparation for next year’s garden, then vegetable composting is for you. Vegetable composting is easy! Let Julie tell you how easy it is.

When you start composting, what do you put in the bin?

On the podcast, Julie talks about the two types of vegetable matter you can add to your bin—browns and greens. Never add animal products to your bin, except eggshells! But, even though you only add vegetable waste, a few things should be excluded from your bin. Those include weeds, diseased plants, seeds, and tough flower stalks. You don’t want to contaminate your garden or have unwanted plants growing in your bin!

To get a handy printable to keep the browns and greens straight, click HERE. Once you’re in, click on the link for episode 4. Post it up on your corkboard or refrigerator to help you remember how to properly compost.

Listen to Crunchy Christian Podcast to get the scoop on how start composting.

And, don’t forget to hop on over to Julie Naturally and get your Healthy Habits Tracker!

Additional Resources

 

Get Started on Square Foot Gardening

Join Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she shares how to get started with square foot gardening.

Join Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she shares how to get started with square foot gardening. This method is one of the most popular ways for beginning gardeners to grow food successfully. Square foot gardening can be customized to suit any size yard and any type of plant.

How to get started with square foot gardening: the basics

What is square foot gardening? How is it different from other types?

Instead of planting in rows, seeds are planted in square foot mini-plots. These one foot by one foot squares lie side by side, creating larger squares or a grid arrangement. Julie discusses some advantages of this arrangement in the show.

Why you should try it

On the show, Julie discusses several reasons why she feels square foot gardening is superior to other methods. Overall, it is the most organized way to garden that reduces waste and takes less work to maintain. When you get started with square foot gardening, you set yourself up for an enjoyable gardening experience for years to come. And, if you couple this method with raised beds, it allows you to continue to garden even as you age.

How much space do you want to devote to growing food?

Do you have eight square feet to work with or sixteen square feet? This method is for an outdoor garden only, but it doesn’t matter how small or large your yard is. Any size will work. And, you can split up the squares. Maybe you have a two foot by sixteen-foot space along the side of your house. But, you also have an eight foot by eight foot space next to your garage. You can use both spaces. As you get started with square foot gardening, you can get creative with your garden!

How you set up your square foot garden

Once you’ve decided how much space you have, it’s time to start marking off your squares, getting the soil ready, and planting your seeds. On the show, Julie discusses a couple of ways to set up your squares. Once you have that done, get the download she mentions by clicking HERE. The printable you receive through this link will help you decide what to grow in your squares. Some vegetables need more space than others or will require a trellis.

Listen to Crunchy Christian Podcast to get the scoop on how get started with square foot gardening.

And, don’t forget to hop on over to Julie Naturally and get your Healthy Habits Tracker!

Additional Resources

  • All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. Now part of a set of six books, one of them about gardening with kids
  • Square Foot Gardening: How to Grow Healthy Organic Vegetables the Easy Way by James Paris
  • Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space by Derek Fell
  • The official site of Square Foot Gardening

How to Start Your Garden in a Small Space: 5 Easy Tips

Join Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she shares how to start a garden in a small space.

Join Julie Polanco on this episode of Crunchy Christian Podcast as she shares how to start a garden in a small space. Growing food in a small space brings special challenges that owners of larger pieces of land don’t have to deal with. What if you live in an apartment, townhouse, or condo? What if you own a small city lot, like Julie does? How can you still enjoy the benefits of growing your own food?

And most of all, what if you’ve never grown anything in your life?

Now’s the time to get started!

 How to start a garden in a small space: 5 considerations

How much space do you want to devote to growing food?

The first thing to think about is where you will grow your food. Do you have space outdoors or will you grow food in pots on your apartment balcony? The amount of space you have will determine what you will grow and how much.

What vegetables does your family enjoy and which ones will you grow?

Julie offers a few ideas on how to decide which vegetables to grow.

Get the download she mentions by clicking HERE. The printable you receive through this link will help you decide what to grow in your small space. Some vegetables need more space than others or will require a trellis and others grow well in smaller spaces or in pots.

Where do you get quality seeds?

In this episode, Julie mentions a few different ways to get quality seeds for your garden. If you cannot get them from a local source, here are a few mail order sources:

Seed Savers Exchange

Harvesting History

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Grow Organic

Gardens Alive!

Julie has no affiliation with any of these companies and does not endorse one over the other. These sites are provided for your convenience.

How do you prepare the plot/pots where you will plant your garden?

Offer your vegetables and herbs the best chance of sprouting by optimizing the soil in your plot or pot. You do not want to use tons of compost or fertilizer. But, you also don’t want to just throw some seeds on your unprepared backyard soil. Julie gives some simple tips for getting your area ready before you plant any seeds.

What are the indoor/outdoor requirements for starting your seeds?

Some seeds need to be started indoors and some are direct seed. Some vegetables need lots of water in order to sprout and some need cold weather. When you receive your seed packets, pay special attention to this. Generally, delicate leafy vegetables do not do as well in direct, hot sun (think lettuce and spinach). Brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, and collards) like cooler weather also. However, tomatoes and peppers do best in the hot summer sun. Another example is carrots. Carrots need consistently moist soil to sprout, but other vegetable seeds drown with too much water. So, it’s important to check on the specific recommendations for the vegetables you’re growing.

Listen to Crunchy Christian Podcast to get the full scoop on how to start your garden in a small space.

And, don’t forget to hop on over to Julie Naturally and get your Healthy Habits Tracker!

What is Crunchy Christian Podcast About?

Join Julie Polanco as she shares what Crunchy Christian Podcast is all about. Find out how the Vine of the Gospel of John beautifully wove plants into Julie’s story and what you can expect each week on the new Crunchy Christian Podcast.Join Julie Polanco as she shares what Crunchy Christian Podcast is all about. It all started in a vacant lot down the street where common weeds became her sanctuary. Find out how the Vine of the Gospel of John beautifully wove plants into Julie’s story and what you can expect each week on the new Crunchy Christian Podcast.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Julie Naturally. You can receive a FREE Healthy Living Tracker by clicking on this link: Click HERE

 

 


Welcome to Crunchy Christian Podcast with Julie Polanco, MH!

Every Friday, Master Herbalist and veteran Christian unschooler, Julie Polanco, shares hope, how-to’s, and a bit of humor from her unschooling family’s adventures as city homesteaders pursuing God’s best naturally.

Become more self-reliant as you listen to Julie share lessons from her years of growing and preserving all things green.

Learn historic uses and preparations of roots, seeds, stems, bark, leaves, and flowers from across God’s Creation.

Laugh with Julie as she remembers mistakes and mishaps her family experienced over the past two decades seeking the natural, crunchy Christian life.

Listen to more Crunchy Christian Podcasts here!