Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Pretty Compost Piles

Soil needs to be planted or covered with mulch. Have you ever noticed that the mulch you apply on the surface of your soil disappears? It does. I enjoy reading a little book put out by Organic Gardening, “The Gardener’s Helper”. It points out that half of all organic matter is transformed into humus in just 2 months.  Soil is teeming with life! Earthworms feed on compost and drag it into their burrows. Years ago, I was a bit too lazy to haul some of the deadheaded plants out to the compost pile, so I spread them at the edge of the fence behind some of the shrubs. They were hidden from view, so that worked for me.  In a very short time that soil became wonderful and the shrubs and vines really benefited.  The Gardener’s helper says that “Nature keeps humus in the top 6” of soil and so should you.” Applying compost on the top of  the soil helps mimic what nature does. I save all the leaves from our 2 huge elm trees. And I compost healthy spent plants, vegetable matter, coffee grounds and egg shells combining them with well rotted manure. Today I went out and planted some potatoes. My soil is filled with earthworms. Years ago my soil was light brown clay, now it is loam. I have 2 “no turn” composters.  I just let nature do the composting.
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In hauling spent flowers to the compost pile, I obviously dropped seeds. Early spring as the grapes vines start to green up Hesperis matronalis, dames rockets add color and fragrance to the alley.
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Late spring, early summer
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Much later in the season…

19 comments:

  1. That compost is feeding those plants so well...they look so nice! Happy Composting!

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  2. I love accidental gardens! I see the same thing happening around my compost bins. It's been a real joy for me to see how my soil has improved from composting. When I first started gardening here, I rarely found an earthworm. Now they're everywhere. :)

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  3. Gloria,

    I wish I had room for any composter. I try to do the best I can giving the plantings what they need has far as nutritients,

    Eileen

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  4. Gloria - it's always a treat to come by and see what you are up to. In case you didn't know, you inspire me with your garden design - replacing lawn with garden. In honor of "Earth Day" yesterday, I included a shout out to your green initiatives. I hope you enjoy it. :)

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  5. I am busy with making new compost boxes these days. I have a big garden and plenty of composting material. The garden is gorgeous.

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  6. Probably some of the most beautiful compost sites I've seen. Feed the soil that feeds the plants. Indeed. Great post.

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  7. I have worm bins in the basement and am hoping to expand to a regular composter this summer. I buy lots of compost made from locally composted leaves every spring/fall. It has done a great job of turning my hideous clay into a wonderful loam. Hooray for compost!!

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  8. This was a very informative post, Gloria. The book sounds like a great reference. Apparently, it is no longer in print; but there seem to be some used copies available here and there. -Jean

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  9. I love to add compost to my sandy soil. The plants love it.

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  10. Dear Sage Butterfly - Thank You! Soon I should be emptying one of the composters and spreading it around. Then I start again with the empty one and let the filled one do it's thing.

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  11. Hi Kate! We are still having snow and I suppose you are to!

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  12. Hi Eileen, finding a place for a composter is hard. I am glad we are in an alley :)

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  13. Hi Shyrlene - How kind of you!!It is so good to have you and the other bloggers as friends!

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  14. Hi Kalipso - Yea! for composting!

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  15. Hi Grace! Thank you! Did you notice the old shed across the alley? It is neat looking. The house behind us is empty!

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  16. Hi Casa Mariposa - I have thought of getting worms for the basement. Maybe one of these days!

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  17. Hi Jean - It is an old little book. I am always glad for sites where old books are sold. I finally have daffodils and species tulips blooming!

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  18. Garden of Threads - I have a friend who has sandy soil and I am so amazed at the difference in soils. But, as you said composts makes our soils work.

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  19. Great post. I just started a compost bin this past week-end. Couldn't believe it heated up in 2 days. The bin was full, it's at the half-way mark now. Can't wait to use my black gold!

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