Thanks I could use that!
Joan, thanks for posting.
Compost is central to my gardening. I usually cold-compost. Slower and messier, but not much work. We have some compost tumblers that do a good job. I always add earthworms to them too.
Setting up new garden beds, my compost wasn't enough. I bought truckloads of compost to add to the soli in the raised beds. Now that those are set up, I hope the home compost will suffice for refreshing them.
Compost is a very important part of my gardening. As I have stated before, I don't grow trees, shrubs, vegetables or flowers, I grow soil. To do that I feed it regularly and with the foods they like. I can't pretend the blueberries will thrive in a patch of candytuft, clematis, or coral bells ... I have a part of my garden dedicated to acid loving plants: azaleas, Japanese iris, magnolias, dogwood, blue hydrangeas, mountain ash, pyracantha, rhododendron, spruce and witch hazel ...
Part of my garden is alkaline loving plants: maple, Douglas fir, Austrian pine, bur oak, hackberry, green ash and honeylocust. Bush and shrub options include lilac, forsythia, barberry, some hydrangeas (but not blue ones), juniper, butterfly bush and blackcurrant.
Some of these plants I listed are in my garden.
I don't chop up my leaves, I just pull or cut them and toss them in the wheel barrow and take them to the compost pile. I make sure there are layers of green leave, dried up leaves, well composted manure and soil on top. I keep the pile watered and watch the heat of the stacks and pile.
Compost bins for kitchen trimmings. No fats, citrus, or meat scraps.
Compost pile, for the huge amount of clippings I get from the garden.
Where I am living right now has horrible clay for soil. I was surprised to find out how easy it was to make compost. Over the course of a year I will dump dozens of containers of autumn leaves in a huge trench. Then, as I am still mowing my lawn, will add grass clippings and stir them up. I add more grass throughout the spring and summer and more brown material and autumn leaves & pine needles and keep turning the pile, moving the composted material towards one end. Now I have an endless supply of pounds of compost. You just have to mix green and brown and stir! When you get good you can control the cooking (up to 140f) temp and do it inside greenhouses to control the heat through the winter. I haven't tried this but will as soon as I get a greenhouse! The only thing better than compost is vermipost! Worm castings and the tea made from worm castings!
I'm a cold composter which takes forever. I have two piles to rotate. In order to "stack" brown and green in alternate layers, I have to save grass from summer mowing and leaves from autumn raking. I think only once or twice did the pile ever heat up.
Thanks so much! Piece by piece I'm gathering information about composting and re-cycling organics. I shudder to think how much stuff I put in my trash dumpster in the past. This year I wish I had more leaves, and will probably drive around neighborhood looking for brown bags full of leaves to "borrow" on organics recycling day.