As I said last time, the first new garden construction project was my compost box. This lovely three bin system keeps me supplied with nutritious compost to feed the vegetable garden, as well as topping up beds as needed.
I must admit to being a lazy composter, I almost never layer my “greens and browns” as is recommended, I just chuck compostables in as they accumulate, but it always seems to work for me. No fats, breads or terribly “rattractive” goodies go in the bins, but I’m terrible about keeping weed seeds out of it. Each year I vow to pull the weeds before they seed, but inevitably around mid summer I’m chucking thousands of future problems in there because I can’t bear to waste all that material. It’s a vicious circle, but I reason that all that weeding helps keep me fit!
Sifting compost is hard work too, but very rewarding. My husband made me a simple sifter that perches atop my wheelbarrow and isn’t too heavy for me to handle. I am vigilant about not allowing rose prunings or other prickly customers in the compost after suffering severe hand perforation from rose thorns while pushing compost through the sifter.
I think I’ve convinced my dh to build a roof over the compost box because, here on the “wet coast”, we get so much rain that the compost is too wet for optimal decomposition, plus it’s really hard to work with when it’s sodden nine months of the year. Of course I want it high enough and to overhang a bit so that it provides a little rain shelter for me when I’m out there.
Composting is one of the best ways to reduce the waste produced by my family. I’m sure that we would produce at least twice as much garbage if we stopped recycling and composting. It grieves me to see those biodegradable (or not) bags of lawn clippings and garden waste sitting curbside waiting for the recycling truck. If only more people would compost, there’d be less waste, more free fertilizer for their gardens, plus the exercise provided – it’s a win/win/win situation! Okay, I’ll climb down from my soapbox now, but seriously, there are few things more satisfying than dumping wheelbarrows full of lovely dark compost into my new garden.