The best soil is like chocolate cake

I remember hearing these words during my college freshman Soils 101 class.

So tell me Master Yoda – How does one get chocolate cake from this?

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Well, first you need to set up a compost bin. (Ours is from Lowe’s.)

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Then every time you weed the garden or mow the lawn – dump some clippings in there.

Every time you peel bananas, oranges, carrots, or potatoes – dump the peels in there.

Every time you chop the stems out of broccoli or califlower,
or peel the yucky leaves off some lettuce or cabbage,
or cut the core out of an apple…

dump all of that stuff in there too.

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Now, if you live in a dry place like El Paso, be sure to water it from time to time.

And after waiting a few months for things to start to break down you can peek inside.

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Awww NUTS – it STILL didn’t break down into soil!

Maybe I did this wrong!

Wait – let’s pull back that crispy dry grass and see what is in the middle of the bin…

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Ohhhhh Yeaaaaaaah….

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Smells so fresh and earthy…

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Soft and spongy and moist and rich and…

just.  like.  chocolate cake….

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So what do we do with this yummy chocolate cake compost?

I started my garden by digging long trenches and filling the bottom with compost.

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Then I sat on the edge and handfull by handfull, sifted through the dirt to take out any rocks or chunks of grass.

A long and tedious process, but I know our garden will thank me later!

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Did you know Lowe’s is selling Broccoli right now in El Paso?
It’s February! I’ve NEVER seen Broccoli for sale in February!
Why are they selling them in February?
Can we PLANT the in February?

My best suggestion for any home gardener is to contact your local County Extension Office. They are in the phone book. They are on the internet. They are your best local resource for anything agriculture. For El Paso, I found this planting dates fact sheet created by the Texas A&M Horticulture Extension Program with all the information I needed.

So I went back and bought the Broccoli.

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But since the first “frost free” day in this area isn’t until April 1st –

my garden will probably look like this when there is a frost in the forecast…

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Have you started your garden planning yet?

What are your favorite vegetables to grow in your garden for your family?

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