Compost Fever!

One of the garden chores I get a lot of satisfaction from is the annual compost screening.  Usually I’ll wade into the compost a few times every month to turn it over, aerate it, help the insects and microbes do their decomposition bit.  This year; however, nature had other plans – I’ve posted previously how pie pumpkin seeds from last year germinated and basically took over.  This indicated two things:  the pile didn’t get hot enough to kill the seeds, and, whatever was happening within that pile of kitchen scraps, leaves and garden clippings had created a really nutritious growing medium!

I harvested the pumpkins a few weeks ago (had to make Thanksgiving pies!) and it was time to see what was there.  I’ve had for many years a compost screen that fits nicely over a wheelbarrow – it’s easy to build with two-by-fours (or should that be written as 2×4’s?) and wire screening from a building supply store.  I shovel three or four scoops from the pile onto the screen then swipe a trowel through it several times, which sends the decomposed material into the wheelbarrow.  What’s left gets dumped onto this year’s pile for further composting.

After a few hour’s work I’m left with an empty slot ready for next year, a growing pile of this year’s raw material being transformed and a nice pile of rough, crumbly compost, ready for top dressing beds or adding to bulb planting holes!

Composter Oct 11 2017 aComposter Oct 11 2017 cComposter Oct 11 2017 dComposter Oct 12 2017 c

5 thoughts on “Compost Fever!

  1. That looks so fancy. When I lived in town, I did not compost in the normal sense. The so called gardeners at my neighbors homes blew everything under my fences. Really, they blew everything to the back corners of the properties, and then blew it all under the fences in the back corners. Anyway, my neighbor to the south had a huge valley oak, Quercus lobata, which provided a generous amount of nice leaves. I just left them in the back corner, and took what I needed from under the pile. I rarely turned it, just because there was always more than I needed. Once in a while, I would dispose of the less composted leaves on top.

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