Tag Archives: compost

Compost fixes everything

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Finally, finally one of my compost tumblers finished cooking the leaves and weeds, and finally I emptied it. So today I brought over a couple more bags of compost to my community garden plot, and the most important “finally” is that the whole plot has a layer of compost on it. The best part is already the swath of vermicompost is helping.

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Our community garden has hawks!

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The sky was grey when I visited my community garden plot today. It was still hot, but a bit of a relief from the blazing sun of the last three days. The wind rising provided more relief and a promise of thunderstorms later tonight. But I had a couple things to do before the rain fell.

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Soldier fly on the brink

Soldier fly

One of the great things about making compost is that it pretty much takes care of making itself. All you really do is pile up weeds and leaves, and wet it down. Everything else is just finding the right container. I love my tumblers, but I pull weeds faster than I empty the tumblers. So bags of weeds tend to stack up and wait. Well, compost doesn’t wait.

See this fly perched on the edge of a leaf bag full of weeds? It’s a Soldier fly. Those weeds are good feed for their larvae. Somewhere in that bag they’re probably munching away, reducing the weeds to compost even before I get it into the bin.

By the time I transfer the contents into the tumbler, I’ll find a layer of pre-digested black material near the bottom of the bag. A small amount of pre-compost, just the thing to get the next batch of to a good start. Not only will the compost take car of itself, the Soldier fly will care of it, too.

I think my compost has plenty of fungal organisms

Mushrooms sprouting in compost

Looks like my compost tumblers have gotten past the stage where I open them up and check to see if it’s composting. If it’s dry, I add water. If it’s stinky, I add leaves. If it’s full of mushrooms, I jump back and say, Wow! You never know what you’re going to find!

Spring is ready

It hit 80 degrees outside today. All sorts of green plants are coming up, getting ready to put on another show. I even have two barrels of compost that cooked over the winter, ready to spread on them again. I’m almost ready to enjoy the coming spring.

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But first you have to convince me that it’s not going to snow again.

Boring, boring compost

Finished compost hiding in the bottom

From a compost bin that looks empty ...

to a heaping tub of compost

..to a heaping tub of compost

The batch of compost I started last month is all cooked up and spread out. I actually emptied it last week, but I kept finding something else to post until I almost forgot about the compost.  So maybe things are a little out of order, but the compost makes everything else possible.
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Compost checkup

Compost after ten days

Compost after nine days

Mushroom in compost

Mushrooms after 17 days

It’s not a pretty sight, but you gotta check out the compost in a tumbler and see how it’s doing.  I first looked in about ten days after I filled the tumbler. There were some dry spots and it had just a whiff of ammonia. Time to make some adjustments.

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Compost Happens

Bags of weeds to be composted

Bags of weeds to be composted

Compost tumbler brimming full

Compost tumbler brimming full

Every true blue organic believer is going to tell you that a steady supply of compost is the one best thing you can do for your soil.

Soil too sandy? Compost.

Soil too heavy? Compost.

Not enough earthworms? Compost.

And it’s all true. Compost even apologized to the hazelnut and mulberry trees I abused and brought them back from the dead.
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First day of spring

Bee's eye view of a crocus

Bee's eye view of a crocus

Whereas I saw a honeybee today, as it cruised along checking out the crocuses;

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A peek outside at my compost tumblers

Compost tumblers

Compost tumblers

Behold the my favorite compost tumblers! Believe it or not, this is the view I can get if I stick my head out the window by my desk to admire my compost. That’s how much I love them.

You see, I’ve been through the tedium of forking over a compost bin full of leaves and weeds. I think I managed to get myself to go through it all of three or four times one summer. Then I quit and went into no-turn mode. The trouble with that is the garden debris accumulates faster than one 3 x 3 x 3 cedar bin can compost it.

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