Mind Candy
The Greens of Summers

A Different Kind of FO

This is not exactly the type of FO ("finished object") you would expect to find on Ravelry!  And you certainly won't wear this FO. . . or display it proudly in your home. . . or give it as a gift. . .

Working in compost 002 

Yet, I'm really excited about this FO! It's compost!  Lovely, rotted, dark, crumbly compost!

Why do I get so excited about. . . rotted stuff?  Well, compost is such a wonderful thing to add to the garden!  For one thing, it increases the organic content of the soil -- and that improves the soil texture, drainage, and fertility.  It loosens things up -- in a good way -- and helps anchor plant roots.  Compost also provides nutrients and moisture for the soil, and introduces beneficial "stuff" (you know. . . microorganisms, enzymes . . . "stuff") to the soil habitat.  Compost encourages stronger root growth, helping plants resist disease and pests.  It's also a great way to recycle and lessen your own household garbage.

What's not to love about compost?

I have a couple of compost areas in my yard.  One is just a pile of . . . stuff.  Leaves, pine needles, used-up potting soil, grass clippings, weeds, etc.  I don't pay much attention to it at all.  I just throw stuff on the pile, and it turns into lovely, rotted, dark, crumbly compost.  I also have a compost bin.  I think about this one a little more, and try to follow the Rules of Composting to keep it in balance.

Working in compost 005 

This is a nifty little bin.  I ordered it several years ago, and it's been working hard ever since.  You open the lid on top to throw stuff in, and you take out the lovely compost through the trap door at the bottom.  The lid on top has tiny holes in it, so rain water can drip in and keep it moist.  I keep a pitchfork nearby, and every once in a while, I go in and poke around a bit with it (technically, this is called "aeration". . . but I think it's just fun to do).

What do I throw in this compost bin?  LOTS of stuff!  I try to keep this bin "balanced" between "greens" (high in nitrogen) and "browns" (high in carbon).  (On a technical note, Tom says it's ALL high in carbon, but the "browns" are probably higher in carbon.  He's a chemist.  Over-simplification bugs him. . .)  The compost breaks down quicker and becomes the lovely stuff you throw on your garden if you keep it balanced.  It also doesn't smell if you keep it balanced, which is a Very Good Thing.

Anyway, the "greens" include grass clippings, household food scraps (but never meat, bones, or peanut butter!), coffee grounds, tea bags, spent flower blooms, weeds, and used potting soil.  The "browns" include fallen leaves, sawdust, shredded paper, brown bags, and newspaper (but never dog poo -- or any kind of poo, for that matter).  I don't get really specific. . . but every once in a while, I just make sure to throw in a layer of paper or sawdust.  Things seem to work out!

Working in compost 007 

It's really nice to "harvest" your own compost!  We always work it into our new beds, and we also add it to the soil as we put in new plants.  It really does make them happy!

June 10 09 Garden at Twilight 031 

And that's what I'm all about!  Happy plants!

Comments

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Nancy

Here's to your lovely garden!

margene

I live in a condo but the idea of composting has always intrigued me and made me want to garden. I love seeing what you grow!

Michelle

I wonder if there's a way to compost my leftover little balls of yarn and wind up with a spectacular something?! ;)

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