Melon Pits

In his book Compost Everything, David the Good teaches how to create melon pits as an easy way of getting rid of large amounts of compostable materials while adding some nutrients and water retention power to the soil. Well, I'm ready to give it a try. Some areas of my yard are sandy loam, tending more towards sand, but anywhere near the foundation of the house is sand.

 

It's a no-plants-land where only hardy draught tolerant natives survive. I had made a little pollinator garden of fire bush, porter weed, horse mint and milkweed to grow along here last year, but I wanted something more polished and that would allow me to use the space for food production. I'm hoping to eventually espalier my orange trees along this west facing wall, but first I need to fix the area up a bit. I pulled out two of the firebushes, the horsemint and porter weed to make room for the oranges. But this area needs some serious amending with something that's got some staying power. You see the rainwater runs off the roof all along the edge right about where the 4 x 4's are. This keeps the garden watered decently through the summer but washes all the nutrients and compost away like it was never there.

Enter melon pits. I believe that the melon pits would be a good way to fix up the soil because there would be things in there slow to decompose like wood and chunks of cardboard and some faster things like food scraps and paper. Anytime I trench compost, earthworms move in and hang around after the scraps are gone, so hopefully a big melon pit will really help fix up the soil more permanently.

I've been collecting a pile of brush and all the cardboard and food scraps to go in here. I'm also gonna add whatever partially broken down material is in my compost bin. I'm hoping to gather a nice heap of stuff before too long so I can start filling.

 

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