Composting Update

I ordered two new compost bins back in May and since the beginning of June I have accumulated two nice piles of organic material in both bins. I did an experiment of sorts between the two. I am pleased with the nice compost I am accumulating in both bins. I can’t wait to use this in my new designated square foot vegetable bed I’m creating sometime this month. Maybe I will get it ready in time to plant some fall crops. The worst case scenario I will have a nice new bed for next season. Either way I come out a winner, don’t you think?
The first bin I used the stuff you can buy to help decompose your yard debris faster. It’s a granular substance that you sprinkle over your material and then add water. In addition I stopped adding new material around mid July to the first bin so I could really see the decomposition process. Please ignore the green plastic tape bit that fell in there. I promise to pull that out later. 🙂
The second bin I am just putting water and aerating it a few times a week with a pitchfork. I just got done giving this a good turning with the fork and you can see some of the decomposed material in the center of the pile.

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23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by beckie on August 7, 2008 at 6:46 am

    How wonderful to have all that ‘black gold’! I’ve heard of square foot gardening but don’t know excatly what it is. So you will have to tell as you go-please.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Mother Nature on August 7, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Compost and rainwater make magic in the garden.

    Reply

  3. Posted by OhioMom on August 7, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I see the first bin broke down faster, will you use the granules again ?

    Can’t wait to see your veggie garden 🙂

    Reply

  4. Posted by tina on August 7, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Looks good enough to play in. Funny how the simplest things make us SO happy! P.S. Don’t ever put fish in yours, I did and it is stinky! Silly me!

    Reply

  5. Posted by Kathleen on August 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Composting is something I keep saying I’m going to do then never follow thru. I think the bin you put the granules in looks “better” too (as far as breaking down). Are you experimenting to see which you’ll keep doing? Either way, I agree you’re the winner. Your plants will love you for it.

    Reply

  6. Posted by lacey on August 7, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I’m so excited to get my first composter bin later this fall! Right now we have an old lean-to shed that it going to get knocked down in September, and until that’s gone we’ve got nowhere to put a compost. I grew up with some compost-crazy parents so I’m probably overly-excited about the stuff, but I just can’t wait! Great post!

    Reply

  7. Posted by Roses and Lilacs on August 7, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I would be interested in how much faster the organics break down with the additive than without.
    Marnie

    Reply

  8. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    It is exciting Beckie to know that stuff most people would just put on the curb is being recycled for my garden. I saving it from going to the landfill too! The whole square foot garden is a new concept for me too, but I will blog about it as I go.

    That's the truth MN. It is black gold and a garden couldn't ask for more than that magic stuff. 🙂

    I am impressed with the results of the first bin Mom. I would definitely use the granulars again. They have some type of organisms that naturally digest and decompose organic matter. It will be cool to have a veggie garden & maybe a herb bed too…:)

    That simple stuff Tina is going to make my plants rejoice too! Thanks for the tip about the fish, I bet it would attract some nasty rodents to the garden as well. 😦

    You should definitely give it a go Kathleen. It's not difficult at all. A little water, some organic matter & aeration. Poof! Black gold! I will definitely use that granular stuff again, I need more. It really does what it says it will do.

    It is exciting Lacey. I don't have room for a large pile like some gardeners, so the bins are my answer. You're going to love reaping the benefits from all that free organic material your garden produces daily. Thanks I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

    They seem to speed up the process tremendously R&L. But you do have to put some effort in such as keeping it moist & aerating it. Not difficult work.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Meadowview Thymes on August 7, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Where do you keep your bins? I think it’s wonderful you are doing this. The compost (especially the one on top) already looks like it is getting very “rich!”

    Reply

  10. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 7, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Linda! Luckily I have a side of my house that is tucked away from the rest of the garden. This is my work area. Four of my water barrels, two compost bins, the trailer (more on that later), and the woodpile are here. It does look pretty good, the flash made it look lighter than it actually is in color. It is a deep blackish-brown color. Smells like heaven! 😉

    Reply

  11. Posted by Karen on August 7, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    I’m going to try buying some ‘helper’ composting additives as well… looks like yours has come along alot faster than mine. Next year will tell 🙂

    Reply

  12. Posted by bee on August 7, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    thanks for sharing your composting experiments. we don’t do it so systematically, so this was helpful.

    Reply

  13. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 7, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    You should try it Karen. I think I got it Lowes. It was fairly inexpensive and what a difference it really made. 🙂

    You are very welcome Bee. I always try to share my experiences through my blog, you never know what might be helpful to someone else. 🙂

    Reply

  14. Posted by Rose on August 7, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    You’re a much more organized composter than I am:) Living on a farm, I can leave my compost in a heap where no one can see it. But I keep telling myself I need to get a bin or container! Although I don’t tend it as I should, I do have some “black gold” every spring. I can tell wherever I’ve used it, because the plants are just thriving there. Though occasionally I do have a volunteer tomato spring up in the midst of my flowers:)

    Reply

  15. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 7, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Well living in the suburbs I don’t have the luxury of that kind of compost pile. 🙂 The bins are more efficient for my amount of space. I try to tend it regularly, but to be honest it will decompose no matter what. Just takes a little longer. It does make a different that’s for sure.

    Reply

  16. Posted by Cindy on August 8, 2008 at 12:03 am

    I keep thinking about containing my compost as it is a series of three heaps. It works but is not the nicest thing in the world to look at!

    I have oftened wondered about those compost activators. It is interesting to hear that you feel it did make a difference. I know comfrey is suppose to heat up the compost as well and I plan on adding some to my heaps.

    I can’t wait to read about your square foot garden once you put it in. I have always contemplated devoting a garden bed to one.

    Reply

  17. Posted by Susie on August 8, 2008 at 12:22 am

    P.G. When you get ready to use this, your plants are going to love you. I’m with Beckie, I’ll be interested in hearing how yo do Square Foot Gardening.

    Reply

  18. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 8, 2008 at 12:59 am

    I don’t have the luxury of space for large piles Cindy so bins work out nicely for me. How interesting that Comfrey has that effect on compost. Thanks for the tip. The activator really works in my opinion and it was fairly inexpensive. It has natural organisms in it that break down the compost by digesting it. I am looking forward to creating my square foot garden bed(s). I’m trying to talk hubby into two, I have him convinced to do one. 🙂

    I think you’re right Susie, I think they will rejoice. Once I start the process I promise to blog about the details. 🙂

    Reply

  19. Posted by Dee/reddirtramblings on August 8, 2008 at 1:41 am

    It looks like both bins are working really well. I have that same type and they make great compost. You’ll love it when you can add it to the soil.~~Dee

    Reply

  20. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 8, 2008 at 2:21 am

    Thanks Dee, I am happy with the results so far. I can’t wait to add that wonderful black gold to my garden beds.

    Reply

  21. Posted by P.Price on August 8, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Now I really want a new composter for my birthday! Just looking at your pics makes me want to get my hands in the black gold.

    Reply

  22. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 8, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    That would be a great b-day present P. Price. Maybe you should start dropping hints. 😉 Thanks for visiting!

    Reply

  23. Posted by nestinstyle on August 10, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    I love experimenting with compost. I’ve already had to move my tumbler bin into an area with more sun. The sun patterns have already started to change…

    Reply

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