Welcome to my Western Pennsylvania garden. Join me on a "Walk Down the Garden Path".

Thursday, May 1, 2008


It's amazing that eggshells and apple cores can turn into black gold. But that's exactly what happens when they are composted. This is such an easy way to get a nutrient rich additive to add to your gardens.

To get started you first need a compost area. Since it can tend to be a bit unsightly, you might want to position it out of the way of the main view of your garden. There are several different compost pile styles to choose from. I have a ventilated plastic shell with a lid that opens at the bottom to pull compost out from. You can just have a pile, which is what I had before a friend gave me the spare shell she had. If you have a pile, you may want to fence it in.

The next step is to add your compost materials. This can be grass clippings, leaves, kitchen scraps, basically anything organic. Just no meats, fats, or dairy products. That is not good for the compost pile. Now the final step and the one that I don't do nearly enough. You must turn your compost pile in order to facilitate the decomposition of the materials. Ideally you should probably do this once a week. Just get in there with a pitchfork and mix up your pile. Since I have a plastic shell, what I need to do is lift up the shell, move it over, and then shovel the pile back in, mixing it up as I go. If you use a fenced in area you can do the same, just have twice the space of your pile and then you can go back and forth each time you turn. The easiest by far is to have a barrel that you can just turn. This is the Cadillac of compost bins and a little expensive to buy, although if you are industrious you can make your own out of an old water barrel. Then it is easy to turn your pile every day, you just spin your barrel and you will have compost in no time.

Once your materials is decomposed you will have a beautiful, black, rich substance. This is perfect for giving a boost of nutrients to your garden soil.

Now I have to get out there and turn my pile. It's been sitting there all winter and I need some compost for my garden !

Happy Growing!

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