newbie related questions
Hopefully you can bear with me as I attempt to provide some background. I am a complete newb to gardening and feel completely overwhelmed by my yard.
I live in the hills of Riverside (Woodcrest) CA and when we moved to our home 1.5 years ago, the yard was completely tore up and sprinkler system ruined when the septic system was replaced. Since then we've done nothing but weakly fight a losing battle with the weeds... The soil in our yard (and the whole area) is decomposed granite (or whatever it's called).
First question - The Yard:
I've included links to four pictures below at the bottom of my post, and if you look at the last two pictures, you can see my weed infested front and side yard. Is there anything I can do inexpensively with this yard without a sprinkler system? Or should I just keep weeding and wait until next year when I should have some money to get a sprinkler system put in and then try to plant and grow some grass?
Second question - Composting:
The main reason I am looking into this is because I eat an all raw fruit and vegetable diet (yes, I literally eat nothing but fruits and vegetables, and have done so for almost 2 years now) that causes me to throw away a lot of fruit and vegetable matter on a daily basis. This just seems wrong somehow when I think about it, so I am wondering if there is anything useful I can do with this waste.
If you look at the first two pictures of the back yard, you'll see that I have about half an acre (or more) of land that is on about a 45 degree angle slope with palms and some difft kinds of trees and other bushes living and/or half dead there. (Again no sprinkling). It's all pretty green right now from the relatively wet winter we had, but it'll be returning to browner soon I am sure..
Does it make any sense for me to start composting for this environment? Sometimes I get tempted to just start making a pile of my waste out back somewhere and then start shoveling it down the hill as it decays...
Eventually I'd like to start trying to grow my own produce, (I would imagine raised bed style) and of course we want to improve our yard somehow, but we just don't have much money to get started with and don't know what we're doing and don't know where or how to begin.
Thanks for any input!
Back yard 1:
Back yard 2: