If you are considering your gardens, and want to go more sustainable, lets make sure you know what makes up brown and green matter. If you are making raised beds, in ground beds, lasagna gardening, Hugelkultur, or Keyhole gardens the matters, matter.
Let me start by saying, I am not a science major and the process is definitely science, but I will share some of the things I have learned and been successful with.
Green matter provides nitrogen and Brown matter provides carbon. The ratio of each is the important factor. I have learned that in a keyhole garden that is 6 feet in diameter and 4 feet tall the ratio of browns to green is 3:1 (see http://www.debtolman.com) . So a keyhole garden is what I will discuss here but a C:N ratio can be used in all of the gardening methods above.
I want to let you know what brown and green matter is. Typically, we all have the products in our life, our home or in our community in excess. Using these excess Matters, put in the right mixture, will create beautiful nutrition rich soil.
At the farm this year we are changing a lot of our in-ground gardens to keyhole gardens. This will set our growing season back a bit this springtime, but I know once the keyhole gardens are finished our yield will be excellent, there will be no weeding and the heavy rains will not drown us out.
Want to attend our Keyhole garden class? Go here to sign up.
So begin collecting items for your own keyhole garden. Here is a list of what those things are:
*Dry yellow, brown leaves or dead grass
*Dead woody stalks or plants
*Any paper and wood products, newspaper, programs, twigs, paper trash
*Dryer lint, vacuum cleaner waste
*Wood ash from fireplaces (not a lot)
*100% cotton, wool or silk
*Cardboard (lots and lots of cardboard)
*Freshly cut green leaves and grass clippings
*livestock Manure (rabbit is my favorite)
*Kitchen scraps like vegetables, melon rinds, fruit, fruit pits, corncobs, cut flowers, nut shells, shells from shellfish
*Egg shells, coffee grounds
*Weeds freshly pulled but foliage only – no roots
**No proteins or fats