Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Garden Chores – Tackling the Compost Pile October 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 10:16 am
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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.

 

Neglected pile of non-compost

 

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.

 

Compost Pile after some work

 

 

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