Monday, February 11, 2013

Making a Compost Pile

Now that I have my late winter/early spring garden started, I have grass and weeds scattered around the plot.  Now, what?  I am starting a compost pile in the far corner of my Back 40.  Yet it is near the garden and it will be convenient for emptying the grass clippings later in the season.

I am saving all organic matter generated in the kitchen, putting it in a large bowl to heap it onto the compost pile in the evening or the following morning.  I save coffee grounds and egg shells, leftovers from making salads and slaw, citrus rinds and fruit peels.  I include pasta, breads, and cooked vegetables in this concoction.  BUT absolutely no meat and bones of any kind--fried, cooked, or sauteed.  This will create an odor as it decomposes and most likely will attract dogs and other critters.

Believe it or not:  an organic compost pile does not smell.  It may not look attractive at times, but I then cover  the pile with pine straw, dead leaves and dead grass that I have raked up.

Every so often, I "turn" the pile using a hoe fork.  I just move the pile from one spot to another.  It is easy to manage early on but at the end of summer, I am sure to wonder how I am going to use it all.  I have now recycled the organic kitchen scraps and yard debris.  It is all right to use the compost in the garden before it has totally decomposed--it'll be used as mulch.  

When I remember, I toss a bit of fertilizer onto the compost pile and water it as well.  This way, it will percolate and rot faster.  As time goes by and I keep turning the pile, it will become "black gold"--beautiful black soil for a happy gardener.


I still have tomatoes and peppers to plant as well as lettuce and a few basic herbs.

How about a romantic Valentine's Day?

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