Friday, July 29, 2016

Filling the citrus garden for free

Emma sprinkling used coffee grounds on the citrus garden.
I've got all these gorgeous gardens to fill and plant, but not much of a budget to do it with thanks to some house repairs that are happening.

Since getting the blueberries and rosemary in the ground, I've been focusing on my citrus bed. It's four-boards' high and I'm aiming to get it filled to three-boards' high with free materials, before topping it off with compost and planting my citrus trees. Around the trees I'll layer wood chips for mulch.

The last time I showed you the citrus bed, I had just added dried leaves from the girls' school and seaweed from a local beach. Under those layers I have grass clippings, leaves, saw dust, homemade compost, coffee grounds, branches from around our property, and right down the bottom a layer of cardboard topped with several layers of newspaper as a weed mat.
Seaweed layer on the citrus bed.
We've also been chucking all our kitchen scraps, used tissues and toilet paper rolls onto this garden, as these will all break down into compost over time and it's better for them to go into our garden than a landfill.

The problem is that this is such a long and deep raised bed, everything I add only fills it by a centimetre or two by the time it's spread all over. Then it all compresses back down with rain and gravity, so I don't feel like I'm making much progress.

Today I decided to speed things along by getting lots of filler material at one time. In between rain showers, I drove to a local cafe and picked up six bags of coffee grounds.

I also made three trips to my local park, which has free wood mulch to collect, and filled my car boot with that each time
Wood mulch collected for the citrus garden.
I put all this material on the citrus garden, alternating layers of coffee grounds with wood mulch, so the nitrogen in the coffee grounds will help break down the carbon in the wood.

Now the citrus garden is filled to three-boards' high and I'll be able to top it off with compost for planting.

Since most citrus trees are fruiting right now, I'll wait until Spring to plant my trees. This will give the material in this garden a bit of time to start composting. Ideally I would love to source some well-rotted animal manure to put in here too, but we'll see if I manage that.

Spring isn't far off. What are you doing to get your garden ready for Spring planting? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Have just planted 2 pear and plum trees and 5 apple trees to espalier which is new for me - hope it works out - will be hard cutting off all fruit and flowers for first year!!! Keep up the good work, we also have a cafe we get 3 bags of coffee grounds from each week, God bless, Maree.

    1. Oh I'm so excited for you. You're getting an orchard again!


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