Category Archives: Composting
Composting 101 offers everything you need to know about composting to successfully create your own compost pile, passive compost, or sheet composts. It is instructive for the first time compost concoctors as well as compost connoisseurs, offering information about the many different ways to make compost happen in your yard, as well as the basic and fascinating
Long before people began making compost piles composting was happening. Compost is the result of the decomposition of organic materials. Everything that came from the earth goes back to the earth. That is the natural rule that has kept the earth clean for as long as it has hosted life. Without the agents of decomposition the earth would be overrun with plant and animal wastes. Imagine if every leaf that fell to the ground never changed, if every bit of manure that hit the ground, and every creature that perished simply stayed where it fell. Throughout the ages, whether it be rock, tree, or crude oil, everything decomposes.
The conventional approach to composting is that we should turn our compost piles. I have already discarded the conventional approach to gardening: I won’t turn the soil. It occurs to me that it is past time to re-examine my approach to composting.
The first thing a person wants to do when they decide to start composting is to keep their kitchen garbage out of the landfill. It is a noble purpose for sure, and kitchen garbage is an excellent addition to any compost pile. If you have grown up in the garden you will know the smell of properly working compost and what goes into it to achieve balance. If you haven’t done this before it takes just a little information and some practice, and you will be making nice compost in no time.
All joking aside this world was made to regenerate itself. When trees and plants drop their leaves on the ground they set in motion the cycle of decomposition that makes it possible for life to go on. Raking up leaves from the ground on your land is a shame. Bagging them to be taken off property is a crime. When you pick up your neighbors’ leaves from the curb you are doing your part to erase that crime.
Now go fight crime.
Eventually when I speak to people about their compost piles and bins the inquiry turns to earthworms, and whether they should *buy worms to add to their compost piles. I always say “Put your compost on the ground, and the earth worms will come.”. That, it seems, has always been true for me, or has
It is June now and everything in my S. Florida organic garden is changing with our weather. The rainy season has commenced, and that means high temps and high humidity. Rain brings some wind and cooler temperatures and if the sun doesn’t come out again it will stay comfortable outdoors. If the sun comes out
Your preparations for the organic garden do not have to cost you a lot of time. One excellent way to save time and build great soil for your garden is to compost directly into the vegetable garden. This requires that you expect to have a fallow season for at least some part of your garden. Many South Florida gardeners do put their beds to rest when the rainy season starts, so this will probably work great for you. The beauty of this backwards planting season (growing in the winter, fallow in the summer) for us is that while our summer is so extremely hot and wet that our bedding plants will rot it is perfect weather for the fastest compost possible. Here’s what you do.
Everything you need to create a good and fruitful organic garden is readily available to you when you need it, and it doesn’t cost you anything but some time and some effort. All organic gardens start with great soil. Great soil is easy to make, but it needs some time, so start now. Gather vegetable
In my previous post The Master Gardeners Program I wrote about all of the new information I was assimilating. Being a long time gardener in South Florida I possess a bit of knowledge about all sorts of gardening, but there were some persistent mysteries for me. One particularly irritating gap in my knowledge was concerning
My property is full of resources for my gardening. Yours may be too. It has always been important to me to find the things that the earth provides for us. Palmpost is one of those excellent provisions. Palmpost is the insides of a palm log or palm tree once it breaks down or composts. Over
I was at an EcoGrowers of East Central Florida pot luck dinner the other nite. Our host Christine was showing her new worm bin projects. She has two of the cutest worm bins. I got very excited. I knew I had found the right group. I keep worms and haven’t met many others people who
I killed the Seminole Pumpkin vine. It had taken over three 50 sq. ft. sections of my garden and ran around the fence blocking five sections and two out of three gates. It was cathartic to get that thing out of my garden. I am working quickly now to prepare those sections for replanting. I
I was explaining to her that the bacterial action heated the compost pile. “Does it smell?” she asked me. I was sitting next to a very smart college graphics student the other night. I showed her my new design for my business card hoping to get some critical help. “So you sell compost?” she
If you are expecting my science project here forget it. I have decided that if you want the down and dirty on the microbial life of a compost pile you can check out this link for The Cornell Waste Management Institute at Cornell University. If you want to know the very specific science […]
I have been for many years creating compost for my vegetable garden by composting directly into fallow sections. I garden in South Florida. Our growing seasons are upside down here. Most of our vegetable growing is done in the winter when the humidity is down, and our lowest temperatures rarely make […]
This is an excellent article from the Cornell Waste Management Web Site. I don’t know about you, but it makes me want to run right out and see how many of these invertebrates I can find in my compost heap. Invertebrates of the Compost Pile Written by Nancy Trautmann, Cornell Center for the […]
Ahhhh Manure. Where to start? One can’t very well be a great natural gardener without recognizing the power of the poo, the might and magic of manure. Manure is compost, manure can be added to compost, added to garden soil, or even used as a side dressing for established plants.
Leaves are gold. Leaves are a compost lover’s dream. If you want black gold for your vegetable garden there is nothing better than brown crunchy leaves, and up north a bit where many of the trees are deciduous that is the gold mine. I grew up in Maryland in the suburbs. My father