Category: Compost

  • Shredding Leaves

    Shredding Leaves

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I use a leaf blower/vacuum to collect the leaves in my yard and then add the shredded leaves from the bag to my compost bins. This works out nicely as the vacuum does break down the leaves to smaller pieces that will compost faster than the whole leaf.…

  • Review of The Complete Compost Gardening Guide

    Review of The Complete Compost Gardening Guide

    Written by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin Paperback This is overflowing with information about composting in the kitchen and garden. They discuss simple things you can do in the house to collect your kitchen scraps like keeping a 5 gallon bucket with a secure lid just outside the kitchen door. As you prepare your…

  • Autumn Leaves – Compost or Mulch?

    Autumn Leaves – Compost or Mulch?

    Yeah, I know it is the middle of January and I am still tending to autumn leaves. I have so many trees on and around my property that it seems like I rake leaves for months. In my defense I did take care of all the leaves in the front yard, side yard and immediately…

  • A Word About The Micro-Herd

    A Word About The Micro-Herd

    Ahh bugs – can’t live with them, can’t live without them! It’s a fact. Soil cannot be healthy and food cannot be grown without microorganisms. Therefore, we cannot be healthy without bugs – of all sizes – except for the moment we will focus on the microscopic ones. Microorganisms or the micro-herd as organic gardeners…

  • Practical Compost Making

    Practical Compost Making

    To make compost rot rapidly you need to achieve a strong and lasting rise in temperature. Cold piles will eventually decompose and humus will eventually form but, without heat, the process can take a long, long time. Getting a pile to heat up promptly and stay hot requires the right mixture of materials and a…

  • Composting Basics

    Composting Basics

    Managing living systems usually goes better when our methods imitate nature’s. Here’s an example of what happens when we don’t. People who keep tropical fish in home aquariums are informed that to avoid numerous fish diseases they must maintain sterile conditions. Whenever the fish become ill or begin dying, the hobbyist is advised to put…

  • Building Healthy Soil

    Diane Relf is an Extension Specialist of Environmental Horticulture at Virginia Tech and wrote a terrific publication entitled Building Healthy Soil. The publication includes: The article describes very plainly the more organic matter in the soil the more moisture it retains reducing runoff and soil erosion. Relf also promotes growing cover crops and green manures…

  • Vermicomposting

    Vermicomposting

    It was 1952 and Mr. Campbell had a worm bin. This shallow box—about two feet wide by four feet long—resided under a worktable in the tiny storeroom/greenhouse adjacent to our grade school science class. It was full of what looked like black, crumbly soil and zillions of small, red wiggly worms, not at all like…

  • What Is Compost

    What Is Compost

    Do you know what really happens when things rot? Have garden books confused you with vague meanings for words like “stabilized humus?” This post won’t. Are you afraid that compost making is a nasty, unpleasant, or difficult process? It isn’t. A compost pile is actually a fast-track method of changing crude organic materials into something…

  • Organic Matter – What is it?

    Organic Matter – What is it?

    We’ll be talking about organic matter a lot on this site. Without organic matter, you don’t have the ingredients to create and restore your soil. So, what is organic matter? Organic matter is any material, plant or animal origins, that has been left to decay and rot in the soil. Nature’s process is simple. I…