Compost – The New Love of your Life
If you are new to gardening and homesteading you may just be learning about how to do things free of chemicals. If that is the case you are probably hearing a lot about compost. I love the beautiful black stuff that plant dreams are made of. This stuff helps you keep roots cool, feeds the plants, and just generally makes them happy, the dirt gets happy, and even the worms do a little jig when compost is on the ground.
There are different kinds of compost too, like worm compost, pine compost, and even humanure compost.
I do a general compost mix that does not have any of that last one anywhere near it as I put it on my foods. I know some people do put that on their foods, I just prefer not to.
The basic mix with compost is stated as 4 x 4 x 4 foot pile with a mix of 1/3 greens and 2/3 browns. Now, it takes a minute to get the idea of what is green and what is brown, and sometimes I am still not absolutely sure, but the way I look at it is if it is new and still growing or if it is peels or scraps of plants or plants themselves, it is green. If it is dry and brown, like leaves or manure or wood chips, sawdust, or small limbs and branches, then it is brown. Hay is also brown, but grass clippings are green. Anyway, you can layer it like the lasagna garden (go here/link to other post) or you can stir and mix them as you go and maybe make it a little faster. If you mix it every week or even every day you can get fresh compost very quickly, sometimes in just a few weeks. I usually mix it when I start the pile and then leave it for about a year. It is the lazy way, but it works and then I can spend my time making piles in the fall and have enough ready to go for spring. They usually get pretty well done through the winter for me here in the southeast.
I use compost for everything and anything that it will work for. I feed plants with it, I mulch with it and I make tea for my plants that I spray on them to help with bugs and extra heavy feeders get an extra dose of chow. This stuff is a miracle in the garden if you make it right. You can also adjust it for certain types of plants. For instance if you know the pile is going on your tomatoes, add extra egg shells and dairy in it (not too much, but a little milk won’t hurt) and you can use this mulch to help with adding calcium to your tomatoes and not worry about blossom end rot. (Add a little powdered milk to the hole when you plant also) Or you can add extra pine needles and cones and use it on strawberries and blackberries, or your potatoes. You can adjust as necessary with your compost just like you would adjust your chemical foods if you used those for your garden. I will not ever do so.
Remember to always love with all your heart.
Hugs and Veggies,