Composting material

compost material 100114I’m often asked what, when, and how to compost in the fall/winter. For me, this is the greatest part of the whole year. Leaves are falling, bushes are being cut back, and there’s a lot of things coming out of the garden. I’ll use anything in our kitchen that isn’t cooked for compost. I’ll begin to bag up the leaves and store them for next year. I put all my bigger items-trimmings from bushes and trees-through a shredder. If you don’t have a shredder try using a lawn mower. In another 2-3 weeks I’ll empty both of my compost unit material in a big tub. This will be covered and stored for use during the winter and to start next spring. I’ll then fill one bin which gets the most sunlight to the very top with all my ingredients. Think lasagna layering: alternating layers of greens and browns. I’ll completely water it in and then I’ll do nothing until spring time. I know some folks continue adding water to their bins in winter if they get a bit dry but I don’t. When I’ve done that in the past it takes a lot longer for them to thaw out come spring. It turns to a huge ice-cube if you keep watering them! The other unit will only have a small layer of leaves and horse manure. This bin will be used to gather compost material all winter long from the kitchen. I won’t add any water but will use this time for just collecting material. By March it will be time to start adding water and turning it. I’ll keep a close eye on the other compost bin that I filled to the top in the fall and will begin to work it. In a matter of a few short weeks I’ll have my first big batch of compost. I’ve done it this way for 14-15 years and it’s always treated me well.

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