Our home’s previous owners were crazy about their garden, and as such, had a serious compost pile between the garage and a lattice fence. And after I piled on all the dead trimmings last fall, the pile itself was larger than our minivan.
I’m serious. You have no idea how stressful it is to walk up to a pile of brush, leaves, grass clippings and random organics that is taller than you and longer than a shark. I had no idea where to start on this beast.
Over Memorial Day weekend, with help from Chad, I burned more than half of it during our evening bonfire. That left all the musty compost remanants from the previous owners, including the dumpings from their charcoal grill, an old sink and random rocks and logs.
Today I spent the better part of three hours wielding a pitchfork and wheel barrow to get it all cleaned up from the compost area and moved to a tarp I set up by our flower boxes.
Under the rotting grass clippings and leaves I was surprised to find a large amount of clean soil compost ready to go. Probably enough to fill a deep freezer, actually. With the organic material all moved away, I was able to rake and shovel the dirt into it’s own pile and get our compost bins set up behind the lattice fence.
Here are the final results:
Later this week I’m going to run all the compost through a large shredder/chipper and fill the bins up. I plan to use the beer composting method.
When this is all turned into soil, in addition the compost soil already ready to go, we’re going to have an intense amount of compost.
Our plants might as well be on steroids. I can’t wait.
And a quick update on the lettuce, zucchini, squash and roma tomatoes…
The chives are out of control, so I’m keeping them fairly short to keep them from seeding. Also, the mystery herb is growing very fast. Leaves look like spearmint, but they are not minty at all.
The cilantro and basil plants are doing well, plus the seeds I planted above them are coming in. I also planted some spearmint, but it’s not very happy.
The strawberries are budding little strawberries, but I forgot to get a picture. Here’s a show from a week and a half ago. My neighbor gave me a hay bale to help keep the berries off the ground.
Meanwhile, there’s a compost party at my house every night after work. You’re invited. Bring a shovel.