Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Compost Pile Extension

Because I’ve had to pull lots of things out of my garden early, the trimmings have already filled my compost container. And that’s not good, because I still have quite a few lettuce “trees” to chop up. I decided to dig up my potatoes on the hill and use the ground to extend the space for my compost.

My potatoes died back quite early because of the heat. They weren’t plentiful, but large and firm. Once the potatoes were out of the ground, I dug a hole and gave it a good moistening with my hose from the watering barrels. No garden plants need the water, so I felt comfortable splurging.

Wayne gave me a hand and we dumped the compost container into the hole. The bottom had already started to decompose, but the top was still “fresh” from recent kitchen waste and garden trimmings.

I mounded the clippings in the middle of the hole and then gave them a good watering. The moisture will help accelerate the composting process. Then I covered the top of the mound with dirt and gave it all a third watering.

Once everything was nice and moist, I covered the mound with two large plastic trash bags opened flat. That will help hold the moisture in, and generate some heat to break things down. To keep them in place, I placed boards on top. The boards will be easy to remove for periodic pile turning and watering.

And the best news is that when all is done, this is exactly where I want the compost to be. I have to climb four flights of stairs to get to my upper potato garden. Making my own soil here is a whole lot easier than carrying bags up from lake level. Well, a whole lot easier on Wayne if I’m truly honest. -- Margy