We have a new composting effort. Our new compost steward is Gary. If you do not see Gary often (he comes to the garden very early), you can comment here or send questions to me. Gary is usually at the garden on the monthly work day, the 3rd Saturday of the month.
Here is what you need to know:
- Compost does not go in the trash. However, only clean compost is used. Weeds, Sunflowers, etc will go into the trash.
- The compost area is at the south end of the garden near the food closet area and the blueberries.
- So how does the new composting work? Just like the guidelines Travis has given us in the past, ‘lasagna composting’ is fairly simple. Just truck in any green waste, spread it in a thin layer and cover with a thin layer of clay soil. This is the recipe:
- ‘Lasagna Composting’ Layers:
- Green waste layer
Green waste layer
Green waste layer
- Coffee grounds
- Wood chips
- Water regularly
- No need to turn it or dig it out. Just cook ‘in place’. Easy.
- Do try to keep plant tags, plastic pots, plastic netting and any other trash out of the compost.
We do need coffee grounds. A small garbage can has been designated for this purpose. All Star Bucks are supposed to have a ‘Grounds for Gardeners’ program and will be happy to give you bags and bags of coffee grounds if they have them. The Star Bucks at the corner of Sylvan and Auburn Boulevard will hold coffee grounds for us if someone agrees to pick them up regularly. This could be a great resource. Worms love their morning coffee grounds and newspaper.
We also need newspaper. Not the shiny advertising pages, but all the other newsprint pages are great. We will need newspaper for composting and for weed abatement elsewhere. There are designated bins for newspaper, but we may need more.
Are we putting weeds into the compost?
No, we are not putting weeds in the compost.
Why don’t we ‘turn’ the compost?
We could. Turning compost does speed up decomposition, but it is hard work. The ‘Lasagna method’ more resembles Mother Nature: just thin layers and layers of organic matter, slowly breaking down into rich humus with the aide of soil micro-organisms and worms. Gotta love those worms.
What if I am not strong enough to pile on some clay soil?
No need to do that, just put your garden waste on the boards on the west side of the compost area. Gary and his helpers will take care of it.
What can I do to help the composting effort?
- Compost everything you can. Bring green waste from home if you do not have a composting effort at home. You can collect vegetable trimmings in a 5 gallon bucket (with a lid). Putting a piece of newsprint on top of each layer of green waste in your bucket, will reduce odor and speed decomposition. You may want to start worm composting at home and add those worm castings to your plot and the compost effort..
- Help Gary with watering the compost 2x/week.
Will we ever produce compost for the beds?
We are doing that now. Each spring compost is made available to add to your plots.