Wednesdays are devoted to sustainability.
A regular composting routine is essential to organic gardening. You do not want to spend hours of effort handpicking pests from plants or spraying plants with various organic anti-pest remedies. You want to build success into the equation from the very beginning. From the bottom, up. As you tend a garden, you realize that you often have lots of vegetative matter and nothing to do with it. Maybe it's weeds. Maybe it's straw. Maybe it's the leaves you raked of the ground from last fall. All of these things go towards composting.
Now is the time to start. As you rake your leaves up this fall, you need to find a spot for them to stay. Leaves are the secret ingredient, the magic potion of the whole affair. You can pile them up loose and cover them with a tarp. You can buy a special purpose compost bin or tumbler. Or you can build a quick conatinment system byt driving 4 metal t-posts in the ground about 3-4 feet from each other. Then you attach fencing material that doesn't have openings more than 4". Chain link, poultry net. Garden fence. Whatever. T-post clips are relatively inexpensive or you can recycle some wire coat hangers if you have a pair of wire cutters and pliers for twisting.
Optimally the pile should be a 3 or 4 foot cube in contruction size. This is approximate because as you know, piles don't come in cubic dimensions usually. At least at my house they don't. Also make sure the pile is not in the shade. When you walk up to it in the middle of winter and the pile is steaming, you know you are on the right track.
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