July 21, 2020
Have any of you thought to enhance your new plants with some mega natural nutrients? Have you ever tried to make your own compost? We have the most amazing resource at our garden! This year we updated the signage and work hard to make the compost bins a great resource for all things garden. The compost at an open space community garden like Rose Roots is a lot different from your backyard compost. A couple big differences is larger quantity and no food waste involved because of attracting wild animals from the open space. Below is some education on How to Compost at the Garden along with the links on our new youtube page. Working hard to keep it coming, we have two solid, knowledgeable Compost Masters, Tom at the East and Glen at the West. They are always in need of help. If you would like to fulfill your service hours and find this chemistry interesting, please email email@example.com to get involved in one or all of the below steps. It is BEST to work with a team and Master Composter to schedule the work as this is chemistry and if disturbed it stops the chemistry. Click on the link for each stage to see the video for that step. Steps to nutritious amazing compost for use in our plots. Step 1 - https://youtu.be/ovxQTuaElWs
Please bring your weeds (greens & browns), vegetation, etc. to the staging area of the compost bins. REMEMBER, anything you can't mow, does NOT go here.
Reminders NO... rocks of any kind, brittle stalks (Sunflower, etc), metal, plastic, rotted veggies
It is mowed before going into the bins to start the breakdown.
Questions to ask yourself.
What does my compost look like when I purchase it at a store?
Does it have ROCKs in it? Metal? Plastic name plates? Sunflower stalks? Rotten food? These don't go in the staging area either.
Step 2 https://youtu.be/rpkoZF6l7LY
The Composter MOWs/mulches the staged vegetation to break down the greens and browns starting the decomposition. It then lays there for a day or so, to rest.
Step 3 https://youtu.be/vgGknT-AtO4
The mowed/mulched, staged vegetation is moved to the STAGE 1 bin, watered the proper amount, covered and a composting thermometer is placed in it to watch it's temperature.
Once in Bin 1 and 2 the cooking and decomposition starts and breaks down the vegetation. Cool chemistry! It is covered with plastic and a composting thermometer is placed in it. The temperature raises to around 140-180 degrees killing roots, most seeds, etc. at this stage. In this process it should not be disturbed so it can reach these temperatures.
Step 5 https://youtu.be/oAXz1PC4WpQ
The Composter moves the compost to Bin 3 where gardeners are able to enjoy the nutrient rich compost in their gardens. Putting some compost near the base of your plants can give them an extra boost mid season and help with water saving. This process can 4-8 weeks.
Step 6 https://youtu.be/pajykDoEK_8
Enjoy the compost while remembering what does and does not make amazing enrichment for our plants and WHAT DOES! To help you know what doesn't go in the staging area, below is a list. The list for Do's is so much easier and we have plenty of good weeds.
DO NOT put in Composting - Don't MOW, Don't go there!
Ouch TO Mower - NO
ROCKs any size!
Sunflower stalks/stalks of any sort
Gross - NO
Attracts wild animals - NO
Diseased plants - makes diseased compost
Diseased Veggies - makes diseased compost
Long Decomposition - NO - TAKE HOME
Seeds/flowers on weeds or plants
Why should we employ composting? Compost added to soil can help anything grow. Compost also:
Reduces water consumption (can lower water bill by about 20%)
Acts as a natural pesticide
Improves soil condition
Diverts contents from landfills
Reduces methane gas
DO ADD to the compost staging - no pesticides
Weeds without flowers or seeding
Coffee Grounds - at a minimum
Dried plant material from plot
Give weeds a day in a pile at your plot
Dried pea plants
Tomato plant clippings - healthy
***ALL OTHER NON - COMPOSTABLE ITEMS SHOULD BE TAKEN HOME TO YOUR PERSONAL TRASH.
If you ever have questions, there is a brochure in the west barn and/or please ask anyone who may be working the compost and/or this article by DUG https://dug.org/composting-basics/ . Composting is always a work in progress! We learn more with each batch. Enjoy what you reap and awareness of what you put in the staging area is a product of what gardeners add to your plot.
Thank you all for doing your part in this ongoing project and learning about composting! It is a continual learning process for all of us. PLEASE be helpful with your part!! Oh, and DUG will be giving a presentation in August. Please attend so you understand the compost you add to!
For the love of Gardening,