With the cold, frosty mornings and the rain we’ve been having in Petaluma, I haven’t been out in the garden much but the extra time has allowed me to think some more about how to get started growingÂ the soil in our community garden plotsÂ like the one at La Tercera.Â
One of the things we can do to helpÂ grow the soil is to make mulch or compostÂ fromÂ all theÂ leaves that have fallenÂ over the last month or two.Â Â It’s quite simple.Â Just rake up the leaves and put them into big plastic bags or burlap bags, if you can find them.Â If the leaves are very dry, wet them slightly to help the decomposition process and then leave the bags in a shady place or in the garage for as long as possible.Â If you can leave them for a year, you’ll have wonderful compost for the following year and two years will give you the best, blackest compost imaginable.
Try toÂ keep decidous leaves separate from evergreen leaves or pine needles, though.Â These take much longer toÂ decompose and should be shreddedÂ using a lawn mower.Â Â Plus, there are some plants and veggies that won’t tolerate the acidic nature of evergreens and won’t grow well underneath or around them.Â
So,Â have a great time making your own mulch.Â
Meanwhile, I’m waiting patiently for planting season to start.Â I think the frosty weather should be over by mid-March but since I’m not a native Petalu(wo)man,Â I’m not absolutely sure of that.Â Â If anyone can tell usÂ when we can usually expect the frosty weather toÂ be gone, please let us know.