I have always wanted to have my own garden and I am finally going to do it! I live in Florida in the Tampa Bay area. I have heard a little about compost piles? I also juice fruits and vegetables on a daily basis and I have wonderful organic waste each day…I have chosen an area next to my home to start my garden and I’m wondering what to do first. Right now it has grass growing and for a week now I have been putting the juicing leftovers on the grass…but now I’m reading about compost piles….should I be putting it in a pile and then after it sits a while put it on the grass?

I can’t use grass clippings because we had the yard sprayed for fleas two months ago ( soon I will look into organic ways of treating for fleas…my husband is not as eager to go organic as I am so…its little steps to organic in my house) how long before I can star the garden…any basic advice for beginners would be sooooo appreciated…thank you so much in advance.

For fleas try putting out beneficial nematodes. You should be able to buy them inexpensively at your local organic gardening store. I have had great success controlling fleas and fire ants with this product. The bag reports control for other pest as well.

What you can do is start the pile off in a corner somewhere, but in the meantime cover the spot where you want the garden with newspapers and something, like hay, composted manure, or organic grass clippings (as deep as possible, maybe a foot or more) and let it sit until spring. It may need containing somehow, or maybe if you cover the manure with enough hay, the rain will not wash it out into the yard. By spring, you can just plant right there (it would be a good idea to add some organice fertilizer to balance out the nitrogen), by making little holes to put your plants that you have started six weeks before and then mulching with more hay, about 2 inches deep. I am a big advocate of no-till.

If you apply the organic waste directly on top of your grass, you’ll probably end up causing it to yellow for a while as the waste decomposes. You’re much better off choosing a site for a compost pile and apply the vegetable fruit waste in layers along with more „brown” ingredients like shredded newspaper, cardboard, or straw. Once the ingredients begin to look like dirt and are no longer composting, you can then sprinkle this on top of your lawn as a fertilizer without any worries.