Vermont Garden Journal: Composting Time
Fall is composting time and there are lots of ways to do it. Here is a Composting 101 review for new composters and those needing a refresher!For cold composting: Pile organic matter in a corner and eventually there will be some compost there.
For hot composting: Start with a bin system. For small scale composters, a box or tumbler will do. For most gardeners, three bins are ideal. You can buy kits or build them yourself. Each bin should be three feet tall, wide and deep.
Organize your organic matter into browns (high in carbon such as dried leaves, old straw, and wood chips), and greens (high in nitrogen such as fresh grass clippings, green leaves from plants and kitchen scraps). To build the pile, add three buckets of brown materials for every bucket of green material and water each layer as you go.
Once the bin is full, cover it so it doesn't get too wet and start to stink. A correctly built pile will heat up within a few days. Once it cools down, turn the pile into the second bin and it should heat up again. If you can get it to heat up to 130 degrees Farenheit for a few weeks, you'll kill most of the weed seeds and diseases. Once it cools a second time, turn it into the third bin, keep it covered and you'll have usable compost next spring.
And now for this week's tip: If you found some daffodils, tulips or other spring flowering bulbs you forgot to plant, plant them immediately. It's better to plant late because they won't make it until spring.