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!


  1. Composting is a great practice we all can benefit from. I also add the papertowel roll (paper) to my winter contributions. thanks for the post.

  2. You know, on the farm we did this for years. But we just through it all on the garden all winter and dad tilled it up really good several times in the spring before planting. We also had the ashes from the wood stoves.
    I need to do this here. Out garden would grow everything big. You should have seen our carrots!
    I will come back and look at your posts later when we get started.

  3. I wish I had room to compost but I don't. I did buy some packaged compost last year and it seemed to do a great job in the vegetable garden.


  4. Great post! I started a compost pile this summer adding veggie and fruit scraps along with coffee grounds. I am curious to see how it looks in the spring. I am not doing things the right way in terms of composting but I am hoping for some decent soil to come out of my pile!

  5. Oh, you made me so lonesome for spring! Now that Christmas is over I'm ready to get out and garden! I do the same with composting and I enjoyed viewing your hostas!

  6. Beth this was a great post I need to get back to composting. Your hosta's look wonderful I always love watching them it's like they grow before your eyes.

    I don't think I have ever seen the Kiss me over the garden gate it is beautiful.. I'm your newest follower.
    hugs from Savannah, Cherry

  7. You are right about it being black gold! We recently had to pay for six yards and...well...I'm embarrassed to tell you how much we paid:( And the worst part is I live on a farm! I have chickens, horses, rabbits...lots of waste, but haven't got it all together in a compost bin. I start to do it, then seem to run out of time or patience...or both. But this is something I really want to do! Your post has encouraged me to start again, and stick with it!

    I would love to be able to use the compost in my gardens...knowing I made it. There is something very satisfying about that:)

    Thank you for the encouragement...and the knowledge shared.

  8. Hi Beth
    I always think of you as the compost queen, you're so good to continue over winter. I'm a bad girl and use my garburator although I wish it could be hooked up to run right into my compost bins.
    There is a great deal of satisfaction when the black gold is ready and well worth the effort. I alternate which gardens I spread it on as I don't make near enough.

  9. Beth recién encuentro tu blog y me encanto, me enamore de tus mascotas son muy bellas, las plantas y flores son increíbles y bueno sigo el trabajo de la compostera es genial yo tengo una pequeña pero vamos bien te dejo un beso Sandra.

  10. I envy that beautiful pile of compost! I have no place with sun so even though I try, my pile never looks like that. In fact it does not get hot enough to kill the weed seeds, so I don't use it anymore.

    I really need to find a way to get some of that black gold!


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