Gardening: How To Compost

This is for the gardeners out there. The ones heeding the siren call of spring.

Yesterday, I turned the compost that's been "cooking" for the last 6 months. I think the compost I use in the garden is one reason everything grows so beautifully. If you don't compost, you should.

What is compost? It's a combination of nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich organic matter.

The nitrogen-rich is made of trimmings from raw vegetables and fruit, grass clippings, yard trimmings that are relatively small, coffee grounds, tea leaves, etc.

The carbon-rich is "brown" organic matter like straw, dried leaves, hay, small twigs, sawdust, etc.
Any of this brown organic matter should be small pieces. You wouldn't want to dump in a hay bale into a small home garden compost pile.

Dirt, time, rain, earthworms, beetles, etc. do the work of turning this waste material into rich soil for growing plants.

I have 2 compost piles in the back corner of my garden. Landscape rocks separate them from the rose beds and from each other.

I think of one as the active pile and the other is the dormant pile where the elements are doing their work.

The active pile is where I add raw organic matter every day followed by a shovelful of dirt over what I added. I turn it over once a month usually.

The dormant pile was completed months ago. It's gestating, I guess you could say. I turn this pile over every other month. It's amazing how many earthworms inhabit it. They go back and forth I imagine between both compost piles.

When the active pile is ready to be allowed to rest, I start using compost from the dormant pile. This is the old school method of composting.

You can buy many different kinds of compost bins at your local nursery center or Home Depot. There are ways to make compost faster, but my method is fine for me because my garden is small.

Takeaway Truth

Gardening is a stress-reducing activity that yields untold rewards. It provides joy to the senses when you walk out into your garden and see the beauty and smell the aroma of flowers and herbs.

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