The magic of compost gardening! Do you do it, should you do it...do you know why?
For years I have composted. Last year however I got a new larger composter that is a tumbler. For those of you who don't know...it's the kind you turn. It has always been amazing to me that your everyday food scraps breakdown and go right back into the soil feeding it lovely nutrients and making everything so happy.
In March we spread out the compost and topped all of the planting beds before we put seeds in the ground. WELL, we then decided to get some more reclaimed wood and build 3 more long planting beds for a small area between our garage and neighbors fence. So on mothers day after our lovely breakfast we started working. We finished off (3) 9 foot long beds and let them sit. If you remember IT WAS HOT that day, so we had a backyard picnic took showers and called it a day. The next day it was hot too. But the next evening we all started filling up buckets and loading the wagon to get our finished compost to those beds. With 2 beds almost full Andy was vigorously working over by the composter and I wasn't paying any attention to what he was doing as I was laying down straw and dumping the buckets of happy black dirt into our new beds.
Well my next wagon load was YUUUUUUCCCKKYYYY! And I mean YUCKY! He had emptied out all of the 'raw' compost from the bin and said 'let's just try it and see what happens". So I started dumping all of the squishy gooiness into the final bed. Then topped it off with finished compost. That was enough work for the evening.
The next day was warm again, so I just watered the beds and decided to seed the following evening. All the seeds went in well, I decided to run a soaker hose system over there to not have to hassle with hoses or watering cans etc. And figured would give it water and in a few weeks see what things were looking like.
The timeline is as follows: sunday- build beds; tuesday -fill with straw and compost; wednesday- water; thursday-seed; saturday- do hose system. Here is where it starts getting a little crazy. Tuesday when I went to check on our new little beds there was growth. In the first 2 beds each had one little sprout. BUT in the bed with the fresh compost.... it was amazing!!!! Keep in mind, the pictures you see here are planted seeds 5 days old. The last pic you see is 10 days old.
So the answer to the question, is YES! Do I do it, YES! Should you do it, YES! Will I always do it, YES! It is totally amazing!!!
Some of us compost because we don't want so much stuff going in the landfill. That is a great reason to start! You can take it one step farther by topping off some of your house plants, then if you decide to grow food, top of the food, then you will see the cycle gets bigger and goes faster and the next thing you know you are actually GROWING things in compost. Compost improves your soil structure, it becomes light and fluffy so air and water can move around. Compost increases the nutrient content of your soil, so you create a little Eco-system that give back to your soil what your plants are taking from it to grow, live and thrive. Compost allows your soil to hold more water meaning it can provide it to your plants in a longer more plentiful way. Compost allows your soil and plants to fight off disease more readily. Think of it just like your body with a healthy alkaline system...no bad cells can thrive in an alkaline human, your soil is the same.