Friday, January 6, 2012

Still Composting

Still composting, even in winter. Let me explain.

I have no garden waste to add this time of year. Here you can see large amounts of leaves from this fall. I also bagged and saved some leaves to add next summer. You see, leaves are a carbon source and my carbon sources are plentiful in the fall, but sparse in the spring and summer. I also bag and save shredded paper as a carbon source for inclusion in the compost in the summer.

In the fall you must be careful not to add too many leaves. You need a proper ratio between carbon and nitrogen sources to get the compost heated up to decompose quickly. Of course, there's no decomposing going on right now, with the colder winter temperatures.

Now I am adding primarily kitchen waste, such as vegetable/fruit peels, eggshells, and coffee/tea "grounds" including filters.

See my pumpkin? Far from decomposed, but it will be...

In the spring, I'll begin turning the pile to aerate and reduce compaction, and I'll add some fresh mown grass clippings to get it heated up. Then, as spring/summer progress I'll add garden waste and kitchen waste for nitrogen, and my saved leaves and shredded paper for carbon.

I use a two bin composter, so that one side can be nearing completion (stop adding to it, but keep turning), and the other bin is there to continue to add materials to.

One day, my black gold will be ready.

Black gold

For more specifics on composting benefits/composting how-to's, you can read my earlier post here.

Good soil helps you to have healthy plants.

Some experts indicate that you can use compost in place of fertilizer. It's like the old adage that if you eat well, you don't need to take vitamins; if your soil is healthy, you don't need to add fertilizer.

Good soil helps make your plants healthy and strong. That in itself is a great reason to compost. In addition, though, I am "recycling"  yard waste rather than putting it into the landfill.

I use my compost as top-dressing; the insects and worms will get it into the soil. In addition, when planting, I like to add some compost to the planting hole.

Linking to Tootsie Time for Fertilizer Friday.

Thanks for visiting!


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