Compost is the best thing for the garden, and it is free, if you make it from non-protein food scraps, soil and raked leaves. I have two compost areas, the bin where I put fruit and vegetable scraps, old bread, and leaves. Then there is an unruly, neglected pile that hasn’t been tended to for months. I dump out spent potted plants, and their soil onto the pile, toss raked leaves onto it, and the guys that mow my lawn use it as a dumping ground for sticks that would take years to compost. I’ve been avoiding dealing with it for a while, but today, by posting this picture, I’m attempting to shame myself into working on it.
It’s not going to become real compost after one day of working on it, but I turned over all the soil, turning the leaves under, and bringing up the underneath soil to the top. I pulled out all of the sticks and things that would not break down any time soon and discarded those. Next I watered the pile – it was dry as a bone. I pulled up most of the grass that had been growing on the back of the pile and topped it off with some leftover castings from Microbial Earth. I had used those to amend my garden soil earlier this morning. I thought I’d call it progress and quit, but once I came in and cooled off, I decided to see what I could find in my refrigerator vegetable bins that might make a good addition. Sure enough, compostable peppers and some lettuce that was past its prime. So I dug a whole in the middle of the pile and buried the vegetables.
So, I did make some progress, and it does look better, but I’m going to keep feeding it and turning it until it is the dark, rich fertilizer I’m looking for.