Archive for July, 2010

Composting Results

Posted in gardening on July 10, 2010 by Mike Procario

This week Margaret’s back was hurting, so she got me out in the garden to do the heavy work. I told her to give precise step-by-step directions. I do not have a green thumb. I asked her what the opposite of a green thumb is. Is it a black thumb, a red thumb? Cutting the grass and dealing with the compost heap are the limits of my garden skills.

This spring we bought a dedicated rotating composting bin. We already had a compost pile behind our garden shed, and last spring I drilled some holes into an old trash can to turn it into a composter. Today I checked on all status of all three compost methods.

The dedicated composting bin has been doing well. I filled in late spring. It has all grass clippings and one load from the bunny’s litter box. The bin was full and it has clearly been composting. The volume in the bin has dropped to less than half of what it was. The hay from the bunnies was probably not a good idea. It was probably too dry. It has made a lot of progress, but it us not yet ready to be used.

I had set up the trash can last fall, I filled it with leaves, and then I pretty much ignored it.  I checked it a few weeks ago and found the top was just dry leaves, but if I dug down there was good looking compost, and the total volume was reduced by about a third.

The pile behind shed has been going for several years. It gets lots of grass clippings, some leaves in the fall, and whatever waste Margaret pulls out of the garden. It gets turned over once or twice a year. I am not a dedicated composter. The dead plants that Margaret tosses in look to be too big to break down quickly, but as I bug down the bottom of the pile I found the best compost of any of the three methods.