One of our gardening friends says that there are only two kinds of serious gardeners: those who compost, and those who don’t compost yet!
Those Who Compost
If you’re one of those gardeners who enjoys the many rewards of composting, now is the time to make significant contributions to next year’s compost harvest.
Divide and Conquer
If you already have two bins or two chambers, that’s great. You should now concentrate on allowing one bin to create finished compost without adding any new materials. The finished compost can be added to your lawn or garden soil at the end of the growing season, and the empty bin will be available for new compostable materials when you clean-up this year’s garden and collect leaves in the fall. If you have more compost than you need (which is hard to imagine), you can store extra compost in big plastic trash containers with lids for next year’s spring garden preparation. Or, you can share some with your gardening friends.
If you have a single bin or pile, now is the time to add a second bin or pile. It takes two to tango, and it takes two to compost efficiently. Don’t add any new materials to one of your bins or piles; allow the undisturbed bin or chamber to continue “cooking”and be sure to keep it moist and turned frequently. Use your second pile or bin for all new compostable materials.
Those Who Don’t Compost
If you’ve been reading our articles, you already know how much we love compost. Compost is the single best thing you can add to your soil. It helps sandy soil hold water, and it makes clay soil more porous. It adds to your soil’s fertility, and it helps guard your plants against many diseases.
If you are one of the few gardeners who doesn’t compost, now is a great time to start.
Location, Location, Location
Find a good spot where you can locate your composter. Your compost should be near the garden, so that adding to it, and moving compost from it to the garden, is relatively easy. The Back Porch ComposTumbler by Mantis is a small, mobile composter on wheels that makes it easy to take compost right to the garden! Of course, you’ll want your compost to be in an area that fits aesthetically with your overall landscape as well. When done properly, compost doesn’t smell bad or attract flies or varmints.
Why Start Composting Now?
Now is a great time to start composting because you will soon have a lot of compostable materials that might otherwise be sent to a landfill. And, soon, most of us will be dealing with leaf clean-up. Most of those beautiful summertime green leaves around us will be brown leaves on our lawns and streets in a few months. In areas with a lot of trees, leaf removal can be a big job. You need to remove the leaves from your lawn, lest they choke your grass plants. And, some communities spend a lot of money and time collecting leaves on the roadside. But, don’t despair…
Dry, brown leaves are the single best ingredient for your compost. The “brown” component of your compost precludes your pile from being simply a decaying garbage heap. Decaying brown leaves are what gives the forest such a wonderful smell in the fall. And, brown leaves will keep your compost from being a stinky mess this fall. Collect all the leaves that you have room to store, and you’ll be on your way to creating wonderful compost gardener’s gold for next year’s garden. If you can collect more dry leaves than you need for your current compost containers, shred the leaves and store them in big plastic bags or plastic garbage cans with lids. They’ll be a great addition to next spring’s lawn clippings which can be used for a super vegetable garden mulch or to jump-start next year’s compost.
Now is the time to prepare for next year’s compost… and for next year’s garden.