Who would have thought that I would write a post on compost. Nourished dirt. Not me, but then when I was adding to our compost bin last night, I got to thinking that it would be a good subject to share. And how composting is actually a pretty good idea. And easy. Certainly not the most glamorous thing to have in your yard, but the benefits are good.
We have had our compost bin for years. We even moved it from our old house, put it in storage while we were waiting to get into this house, then moved it to the back of our barn where it has lived ever since.
I must be honest, I’ve been pretty hit or miss with adding to the compost. I’ll be really good about it, then I’ll get lazy and not walk the fruit and vegetable trimmings the 100 feet to add to the bin. And the way I have held on to this compost bin and carted it around Dutchess county, one would think I was the compost expert. On the contrary.
But once I decided to have a garden, I started adding to the compost regularly, keeping it maintained, and added compost to each garden bed I planted. And with all of the nutrients the compost contributed to the soil, it truly helped make my garden flourish.
Now that it is the fall, and my garden is winding down for the season, I have added trimmings, grass cuttings, and some leaves so I’ll have a good base for the spring.
If any of you are on the fence about starting and maintaining a compost pile or bin, it really is a good idea, and you and your gardens will reap so many benefits because of your compost.
You don’t have to have a bin like I have; you can build your own compost area such as this:
Adding compost to garden soil increases its water-holding capacity, invigorates the soil food web and provides a buffet of plant nutrients. Compost also contains substances that enhance plant’s ability to respond to challenges from insects and diseases.
Here are the good compost ingredients:
- leaves, hay and other dead plant material
- fruit and vegetable trimmings
- herbicide-free grass clippings
- manure from horses, cattle, goats, poultry and rabbits
- paper or cardboard torn into strips or hand-sized pieces
DO NOT add to your compost:
- meat scraps
- very fatty-sugary or salty foods
- chips or sawdust from treated wood
- clippings from herbicide treated lawns
- manure from dogs, cats, and obviously people. No good.
The compost is ready to use when you no longer recognize the original ingredients.
There are so many more facts about composting, but I just wanted to give you guys the gist, and share with you the basics.
And hey, why not write about gourmet dirt??