The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Posts tagged ‘garden’

The Sand Filter Garden — Part 1

After you read this, some of you might be afraid to eat at our house. Have no fear. Our food is gonna be so organic it will eat itself.

Jenny and I spent part of the afternoon weeding our sand filter. For those of you who live in the city and are septically challenged, a sand filter is basically a big mound of gravel and varying degrees of sand, several feet deep, whose sole function is to process effluent in areas where the septic field can’t be too large. Or in our case, the whole thing is too near a body of water.  The effluent leaves the house, enters the septic tank, is pumped into the sand filter and then is processed before entering the septic field and ultimately the creek. This is high technology in the shit business, and it uses no chemicals. One hundred percent natural.

One of the amazing things about this big sandbox is this: you can plant on top of it. No root vegetables, because there are some pipes that you don’t want to mess with, but anything else is fine. Most folks opt for grass. We chose vegetables.  The sand filter is about three feet high with a concrete wall to sit on. Today we planted tomatoes, peppers, cabbages, strawberries, and chard. We only planted about two feet into the circle as we are not giants, have short arms,  and we do have to weed the dang thing. And we didn’t weed the whole perimeter or the center yet as the blackberries surround half of it right now. Anybody got a goat we can borrow?

After weeding (and there is NO SMELL) the delightfully loamy soil, we worked in some compost (cow, chicken, etc) and now, of course, it DOES SMELL.  I planted the cabbage in a place with no manure as part of the grand experiment. After a year of wind, rain, sun, leaves, organic debris, etc. the top layer of very fine sand is now pretty nice soil all by itself. The weeds are doing just fine, better than in our regular dirt which is quite full of clay. I can always fertilize if the cabbages look sad.

It’s getting ready to rain so we’re not going to water things in. Tomorrow there is more planting to do; if we need to water more tomorrow, the hose will still be there. Stay tuned. Photos and more information to follow.

Good Dog Gwyneth enjoyed being outside with her peeps for such a long time and also enjoyed sitting on onions, whacking the chard planted earlier with her tail, and otherwise amusing herself in the dirt.

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