Sunday, November 27, 2011

Garden Compost...


For such a small yard we seem to generate a lot of landscape wastes. Leaves, grass clippings and alike. Until recently most of this material was going in our trash. We knew we should be composting but didn't have a good place to get a pile going. Now that we have our garden plot established there is plenty of room to do some "serious" composting.

We debated about which kind of composter to use. The tumbler type, a welded-wire ring, maybe make something kind of fancy. But in the end we went with the good, old fashion used pallet approach. Pallets are inexpensive (free if you can find them) and the slatted design provides good aeration, drainage, and water retention. The pallets we used aren't of super-heavy construction, so I imagine they'll have to be replaced sooner rather than later - but still a good choice. The few rainfall events we've had lately have really kicked our compost pile in to high gear. I turn it with a pitchfork periodically, which keeps it neatly piled and aerates at the same time.

The compost process isn't all that complicated. The same conditions plants like are same things the microorganisms need to break down organic matter. So a little water, air and nutrients go a long way. For more info, Texas Agrilife Extension Service has a good on-line publication which provides the how-to's on composting. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/docs/pubs/compost.pdf 


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