clarity's wiki


Garden Plan

Before doing any proper gardening, there’s a lot of catch-up maintenance work.

Taking Care of the Yard

Planning to buy compost for now so I can get started right away, and will start making my own compost as soon as I’ve generated enough material for that.

We have two garden areas, a lovely raised bed surrounded by rocks which is permanently in the shade, and an area that’s maybe 50/50 sunlight/shade or less.

A number of preexisting plants and no idea which are weeds and which are good to have.

We need to get a soil test because it’s possible we might have a lead problem. Also it’s clear that most of the soil is very bad quality: dry and cracked.

Hoping to plant some unobtrusive perrenials (berry bushes, walking onions) where I think we can get away with it. When I asked the landlord about it he was like “you can plant annuals all you like but for lasting stuff like a tree or whatever we’d have to talk about it.” I’m hoping that if I’m low-key enough about it (no trees) that some berries or whatever won’t be an issue.


The permaculture zones. 0: House or settlement. 1: Frequently visited: kitchen garden, microclimate. 2: Semi-intensely cultivated: Food production, market crops, Greenhouse. 3: Occasionaly visited: large fruit and nut trees, pasture, cash crops. 4: Minimal care: Wild food gathering, pasture, wood cutting for fuel and timer. 5: Unmanaged: Wilderness zone, foraging, inspiration, meditation.

Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.

Bill Mollison via Wikipedia


seriously don't worry about more advanced gardening stuff until you:

1. have laid out paths based on ergonomics, proximety to your home, and with respect to the slope of land.

2. laid down thick compost and mulch

3. spread a cover crop everywhere around any plants you put in.

Throw red clover on the ground any season. Throw buckwheat in the summer. Add wheatgrass and Dikon over the winter.

Actually make that crimson clover



How to turn a backyard compost pile

you don't have to be this precise but: if made right the pile should reach 137 within 24-72 hours.

if it doesn't and the pile is built right, maybe there are pesticides... if possible add 1% molasses or corn syrup to give bacteria energy to break apart pesticide bonds.

by day 4-5 it should go from 135 to 155-160F.
time to turn. if it gets hotter faster turn sooner it needs oxygen.

temp should drop again and then go up. turn before it reaches 165.

3rd turn after 7-8 additional days

4th after 3 weeks. after that the temp shouldn't increase much again.

5th around 5 weeks- turn again and let age.


So my compost pile Calc for the morning. A pile should be at least a cubic meter (3x3x3 feet) and a 4th if it should be high nitrogen: first season mown grass, cow manure, chicken manure (20%), coffee grounds. True for a bacterial or fungal pile.

A balanced ratio compost pile for garden vegetables
(Thanks to Dr. Elaine Ingham)
- 25% high nitrogen
- 40% green
- 35% woody