Saturday, October 30, 2010

Don’t you just love compost?

Start with a mess -

One of the easiest jobs in the garden – making compost.

I received a compost bin several years ago when I attended a class by Lehigh/Northampton County Master Gardner’s. It was free with the class.

Penn State University Fact Sheet “Home Composting” provides all the details for making compost.

I don’t obsess about the process. I add plant clippings, weeds, vegetable scraps and coffee grounds. I’m not sure the bin ever gets hot enough to kill seeds so I try not to get weed seeds in there. I cut large stems into one or two inch pieces. It would take too long to decompose thick stems.

In fall we run over the fallen leaves with the mower. I fill the bin with the chopped leaves and save a pile to add all year. Every once in a while, I turn the top one third of the debris in the bin. I add water periodically.
Before I had the bin, I made a pile in an out-of-the-way part of the garden. That worked just as well.

I spread the finished compost around plants. I don’t use much fertilizer - only a bit for the acid loving plants – azalea, hydrangea, rhododendron, etc - and sometimes some for the roses. Since I can’t make enough for the entire garden, I also get compost from the city recycling center. I get free mulch there too.

Over the years the garden soil has become rich and loamy – good for the garden, good for the environment, good for the gardener. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

- end with black gold.



Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

There is nothing better than rich black compost! I love it too. I use the pile method, but would love to hava a nice neat bin like yours.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

We just got a earth machine also, kind of late in the year but we wanted to get started.

Marie said...


I think the pile method is easier to work with. The bin makes it more difficult to turn the pile and access the compost. Sometimes I take the bin off completely to use the compost. But it is neater and encourages me to add stuff to watch it disappear. Either way the end product can't be beat!

Marie said...

I got my bin in the fall too several years ago. It took a while to get going but now I have compost every fall.

donna said...

Is 62 too old to start composting? I need to give it a try.


Marie said...


I've got you beat by a few years. Go for it girl!