Our family has been composting for a year now and all I can say is that it is AWESOME! Previously I’d been put off the idea. Mainly because of the anticipated work that would be involved but also because we didn’t want to attract the bears! Since starting though, there really is no going back for me. For anyone who has a garden, the space for a compost bin, and does a little bit of gardening, even if it’s just taking care of your lawn, composting is pretty much a no brainer. In short, compost is one of natures best soil amendments. Think earth friendly fertilizer, and the cheapest one you can find!
We followed our local districts recommendations on how to compost including what to compost and what not. We used two pretty bog standard compost bins (two so that when one is full, you can start on the next and then hopefully by the time the second is full the first will be full of compost ready to use). It really wasn’t that much work to get it up and running and it takes very little time to maintain. I still can’t believe how it all just turns into soil! It really is black gold!
Nothing is ever easy and we did have some problems along the way, but not from the bears as I had anticipated. Our problem was rats. As we live right next to a creek they are always lurking and somehow they managed to squeeze through the tiniest of cracks in the bins to find a nice cozy home with a ready-made food supply! We’ve since bought two new bins which are pretty darn rat proof (so far).
We emptied one bin full of black gold about 2 months ago and I added most of it to the top of my newly filled raised beds hoping it would act as a mulch protecting the soil below from rain erosion. The compost was full of worms, felt really crumbly and smelt earthy.
Just yesterday I turned the compost into my beds hoping to improve the soil ready for planting my seeds this weekend. I’ve also kept some compost with the intent of making compost tea to regularly feed the soil of my cut flower patch (more to come on this!).
In all honestly, I’ll never know the extent to which the compost will improve the soil for my cut flower patch. But, at the very least, it feels good to be recycling waste and putting it back into the earth in a much more natural and environmentally friendly way than sending it to landfill.