There. I said it. I enjoy it. There’s compost buried in the veg garden. Compost in the rotating container. Compost “aging” over the winter in planter boxes. There’s a lot of compost. I like the musty, sour, earth smell of it.
Eric had mentioned on a GardenFork Radio Show how I use the Lasagna method of composting. My method is based on Patricia Lanza Method, Lasagna Gardening. Five years ago, I started with a clay based lot, and have transformed it into dark, rich, worm filled soil, layer by layer.
In the fall, I empty my compost bins into the gardens. I’m not big on chopping down stuff so it’s not uncommon to find an avocado skin, or citrus peel. I’ve kneeled in one rotten potato and that is a stinky mess. A good poking stick will help break down your compost while in the bin with out a lot of turning or lifting. I’ll cover that with some leaf mulch and let winter do it’s work. Come Spring, I have Black Gold! One beautiful dry spring day, I’ll hit the gardens with a hoe and stir everything up. Inspect areas that didn’t break down and pick out any nasty bits to recompost. Make it all pretty and ready for planting.
Last year I got the Nature Mill Composter. It has an arm that spins and is heated. Well, here’s the thing. It’s marketed as an indoor, fairly odor less machine and we have not found that to be true. One of the good reasons for that is, I throw just about everything in the composter with out chopping it up. I also toss in paper towels. It’s my lazy way of balancing the dry with the wet compost ingredients. This year we have it on the back porch. While it does get below freezing, the porch provides some protection from the wind.
I’m happy to say, it’s working pretty well. When it does get clogged up, I’ll dig it out and toss it in the other compost bin. There are days where it smells pretty strongly, but it’s not bothering us. It will sure help with the amount of compostable materials Jim and I produce in the winter, but it’s not our main composter.
All the stems, roots, leaves, plants, crazy tomato plants that developed legs and walked across the yard, makes up most of our compostable stuff. It’s also caused me to spread tomato seeds through out my yard. At least we don’t have to plant tomatoes. Yard waste pretty much ends up in a pile in a corner of the yard, until the compost bin is emptied in the fall. I fill it with all the yard waste for winter. The freezing and thawing seems to help break stuff down quickly.
Composting is pretty easy. Just like anything worth doing, it just has it’s disgusting bits too.