15 Feb Compost with Care
Many years ago, there were no landfills. There were no food containers-and no plastic anything. Everything we used was reused, composted or kept, in various and sundry forms. The pickle crock turned into the sauerkraut maker. The apple peelings, leaves and coveted eggshells turned into next year’s planting base in a compost pile the size of Texas located on the back of the family’s acreage.
But few of us have 20 acres to play on these days. My compost “pile” is a compost bin, discreetly placed between my house and the neighbors who are close by. Yet, it provides delicious results for my garden and good worms for fishing with the kids too.
Be aware that some plants require more nutrients than others. Although an avocado tree was fun one year, it wanted the whole bin for itself. Sorry, Mr. Avocado.
Composting material can be simplified into three types: Green, Brown and Food. A good compost pile includes a layer of grass (not infected with weed killer, of course), a layer of brown (compost, soil), and a layer of food (nothing greasy, nothing animal, nothing starchy). Then you add water and stir-frequently. These days, you can even buy a bin that turns for that stirring part.
I find that the smaller the food scraps are, the quicker they decompose. Also valuable within my compost are the vines and roots from my tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers and squash at the end of harvest.
My Grandma also used to throw her cigarette butts in. Of course, that was before filters, and she said that tobacco was great for plants. She may have just been hiding it from her ma and pa! I am not advocating smoking, even for your plants, but does anybody know about any benefits of tobacco in gardening? Her gardens and beds were always full of gorgeous plants.
As a hero, who was around before the landfills would say, “Happy Trails to you”. I would add “Happy Composting”.