Thursday, December 8, 2011

Compost! Take 2...

I am re-posting from July because my tomatoes are growing bigger than I could have possibly imagined thanks to a bit of aged compost.  The best part...It was FREE!!!  Since Christmas is right around the corner and I'll be cooking like a madwomen, I'll also be adding most of my kitchen "waste" to my brewing compost bin.

What is Compost?
Compost is a natural soil amendment and garden fertilizer. It can be made FREE using kitchen scraps. Apple cores, banana peels, celery or carrots parts, rinds and peels from fruits and veggies...throw it all in there! But don't stop there- also use grass clipping, dead leaves and other yard waste.

Not only does composting save money on expensive fertilizers and soil amendments, it keeps all of this "trash" out of your garbage bin and out of landfills.

Using compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity.

Warning: Everything I read about compost says not to use meat, diary or pet waste in your compost.

Do I need to buy a fancy (expensive) composter? No way!

In my own yard I have a big (dark) plastic tub which I drilled holes into the bottom. I've added my kitchen and yard "waste" and then a layer of soil...repeat! Every 4 or 5 days I go out into the yard and turn it over. No, I don't dump it out, "turn it" is garden-speak for stir or mix. The more I "turn" the mix the faster it seems to decompose.

What's in My Compost Bin?

Cherry stems, apple cores, lime rinds, coffee grounds, tea bags, celery leaves, potato peels, carrot ends, cucumber and onion bits, egg shells (washed and dried), grass clippings, dead leaves, dead flowers, mango skins. I might have forgotten a few things but you get the picture.

Stay away from using lawn clippings or additives with chemical fertilizers or pesticides!

Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are produced naturally by the feeding of microorganisms and decomposing waste. These three ingredients are essential for a thriving veggie garden.

Happy Planting!


HB said...

Great Blog! Thanks for all the info. I am in Palm Beach Cty, and found your blog through Craigslist. I am embarking on a permaculture journey in our yard, and appreciate having tips from a fellow S Floridian. Do you know about rock dust mineralization? If you search Don Weaver and rock dust mineralization. I just called a marble/granite place today that seems willing to give me their dust waste for free. I have always considered myself a poor gardener, but am determined to get some success this time!

Denise said...

Great information!
Since I'm mentally planning for next year's garden, I'll be making use of all the leaves in the back yard and adding kitchen waste throughout the winter. Our soil here is so rocky and in poor condition, and I can tell that no one has ever taken any time to do anything so I'll do what I can to make things better!
I hope you'll post a picture of your tomatoes. I'd love to see them. :)

Dave said...

That's a good disertation on composting. I agree it's good for the garden as well as getting rid of waste.

Mary Smith said...

*Unknown: Welcome and thank you for stopping by. I am aware of RDM but I don't know much about it. I have tried to keep my garden low-maintenance while remaining as organic as I can be.
*Denise: Our soil here isn't all that great either. I dug a foot down and found compacted sand and rocks. It has taken a bit of work and a lot of sweat to get this far.
*Dave: Thank you for the encouragement!