It all began with soil

Having a supply of rainwater is great and without it we couldn’t afford to irrigate our garden.  The next important item is the soil.

One of the first things we bought for the garden when we bought the house, was a compost bin.  This is a PVC bin with a lid and ventilation holes on the sides.  Over the years we have continuously made compost and fed it into the vegetable area to enrich the soil.  The vegetable garden is the one area of our garden that has lots of fertile soil, as opposed to the rest of the garden that is made up of rocks and pebbles, interspersed with some sandy soil, making digging a hole for planting very difficult.
This is what our soil is like:

Our rocky garden soil.
When we dig a hole or a trench in our garden this is what comes out. Well I guess we can say our house is built on a rock.

When we want to use it we first have to sieve it:
Sifting the rocky soil.
Before we can use our soil we have to separate out the rocks and stones through this mesh that hubby made.

The rocks are set aside for a possible future concrete project:
Separated rocks
To get that barrow of soil we had to take out all these rocks.

And we’re left with a barrow of sandy soil ready to be mixed with compost and manure:
Sifted garden soil.
Once we’ve sifted out the rocks we have useable soil.

So, we have water, we have soil.  Today I am going to add some bags of manure and sand to the pile of rotted compost and dry grass cuttings in the corner of the garden in preparation for my winter planting.

Another element is a good organic fertilizer.  I have used Bounce Back on the recommendation of a friend.

The important thing is to control costs. It’s no use trying to grow vegetables to save money if one falls into the temptation of buying expensive equipment.  I have become quite an expert at recycling containers.  A recycled tin or jar will take one bean seed or some Swiss chard.  One has to be creative.

IMG_1141
One more picture today. These are our vintage tools inherited from the previous owner of the house:

Vintage bucket and watering can.
The house was previously owned by a lady who lived here 25 years. We inherited these vintage tools when we bought the house and there’s nothing like them. Strong, durable, leak-free. There’s nothing like them today.

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