Sunday, April 19, 2009

peas and compost

I started the morning with the sun and birds at about 6am and worked the compost. The "black gold" pile had shrunk down to about 20 inches high from spring use. I scooped the remaining black gold out to prepare for turning and aeration of the "green" pile. I took 5 wheelbarrows of the black stuff to various places in the yard. Curiously as I got closer to the bottom of the black gold pile, the less broken down the compost looked. So I saved this stuff to layer into the green. Once empty, I removed the bin slats that separate the two piles and started pulling the green stuff over. As I pulled it over I did several things:

  1. Chopped all the branches and sticks up as much as possible
  2. pulled apart or chopped clods of dirt/sod
  3. pulled apart and scattered dry brush and leaves
  4. watered dry brush and leaves with compost tea
  5. layered pile every 5 inches or so with partially finished compost
  6. spread lime and green sand on top of each layer of partially finished compost
I was pleasantly surprised at the progress of this pile so far. While the whole pile was not exceptionally hot - there certainly were hot spots. This green pile only began on 2/27. Its composition was mostly cardboard boxes, dry weeds from strawberry wall, and sod from cherry tree garden. Not a whole lot of nitrogen had been introduced - mainly just kitchen scraps. It also hadn't been layered or chopped significantly. I fixed all that today. After all the work prepping the pile, I covered it with clear plastic for another attempt to heat it up and break it down. At the end of the day I dug about 6 inches deep and already felt the heat - Amazing.

I made some seed starter mix today. For about two weeks I have had a small pile of compost burning up out in the sun in a black concrete mixing bucket with a clear plastic lid. Today I made a 50/50 mix of that and peat moss and put it in a black plastic bag for future use. It looks pretty good. Hopefully it is sterile. That store bought seed starter mix is too darn expensive and skimpy on the quantity.

Sarah and I transplanted several perennials to the cherry tree garden - blue hosta, traditional hosta, mini-irises, lillies.

Most of the rhubarb that I planted a couple days ago looks basically dead. Sarah transplanted many of her perennials. She made me a list so I could keep the blog up to date - how sweet.

  1. long row of cilantro in herb garden - burpee seeds 2 years old
  2. transplanted dill in herb garden and planted dill seeds that we saved from last year
  3. planted parsley seeds - ferry morse two years old. We added these seeds to the parsley patch that we had brought inside during the winter. Sarah transplanted these about a week ago and they look good.
  4. Huge pot of cosmos seeds
  5. more cilantro - this time in a pot with oregano and taragon
  6. chamomile seeds in a pot
  7. more cosmos - in garden near roses in two small plantings
  8. transplanted two sunflowers to rose garden
  9. Sarah did the window boxes today - two geraniums in each and trailing nasturtiums.
spinach in the sun garden is coming up well. I also filled in some blank spots in the sun garden with peas that did not take.

The photo is of the brussel sprout seeds that I started inside in my home-made seed starter.

No comments:

Post a Comment