Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sown and Harvest #9

Welcome to my Sunday post dedicated to all things garden, landscape, and plant related.

Earth Day is on SundayApril 22, 2012! Happy Earth day!

Guess who got a composter? Yup this gal! My daughter bought it for me. I guess she got tired of my "Someday, maybe I will buy one. Or someday, maybe I will build one..." Whatever her reason, I am very excited to have it.
Um, what?

Oh yay, picture instructions and no words!
Ok not so bad. snap, snap
Bottom piece snapped in place last. It was kinda awkward
That's better
Hmmm, where to put this? About 20 feet from the garden. This will get 6-8 hrs of sun per day. Nice and hot to bake everything.
Weed block cloth and on top of an old pallet will ensure plenty of air circulation
I think I will plant some fountain grass  or put up a privacy panel because it looks kind of ugly sitting in the middle of the field.

Now, how do I start it?

Build up layers of material  that balance of carbon and nitrogen . 

Carbon material is dry, brown, woody plant material, straw, dried leaves, torn/ shredded newspaper, dry lawn clippings, sawdust, corncobs and stalks.

Nitrogen material is fresh, green, living plant material, fresh lawn clippings, green leaves, fruit and vegetable scraps, old potting soil (disease/ pest free) HERBIVORE animal manure/ guano (cow, pig, horse, chicken, sheep,
 goats, rabbit, Guinea Pig,  bats, and ducks), CLEAN eggshells, tea bags and coffee grounds.

  • Food with meat, dairy or oils
  • NO Pet feces (dog, cat or bird)
  • Diseased plants
  • Weeds gone to seed
  • Ash from charcoal or coal

Just say no. While many materials can be composted, there are some items that you should keep out of your home compost pile. Excluding foods with meat, dairy or oils will minimize odors and keep your pile from attracting scavengers like dogs and raccoons. Since compost is generally used for a soil amendment, you want to keep it free of plant diseases and unhealthy bacteria.

Add moisture and turn every 5 to 7 days. Turning as you add new layers. I am debating whether or not to add an innoculant to get it started...

I set up a couple of old coffee cans to collect kitchen scraps and can take them out every couple of days. These will work until I can get a nice ceramic kitchen composter. And I have separate (clean) garbage can that I only put weeds in. It is one of the dark green/black  plastic 35 gallon kind. I put the weeds in there, it sits in the sun and bakes the heck outta whatever is in there. Once I am sure everything in nice and crispy. I won't add to the composter but we do dump it in the woods near the creek bed. And I gotta tell ya' that is some of the best soil. It is so dark and rich it looks like a spoonful of chocolate cake!

Maybe next on the list is getting a worm compost station?


  1. My hubby enjoys composting and we continually add our coffee grinds and other kitchen garbage to the compost heap. Happy Earth Day!

    1. Hi Jennifer! All I know is this is 120 gallons--that sure is a lot of coffee grounds! haha I really don't know what to expect with composting since I am a newbie!

  2. I have quite a bit of pistachio shells for you, washed and dried! :D


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