Dark, rich, muddy, icky dirt

May 1, 2009 at 4:05 pm (Composting)

ahh... lovely compost dirt!

ahh... lovely compost dirt!

Yesterday was very rewarding. Now that my greens are hitting harvest time I am worried about soil depletion. This crop includes spinach, two kinds of onions, pumpkins, and tomatos. My next will be melons, beats, spinach, flowers, some squash, and corn. I expect in two or three weeks most of my garden will be harvested, and I will be ready to add new soil, introducing nitrogen rich fertilizer. This is very experimental and will see how it turns out.  I should be using a pH meter to know where I am at.

Anyhow, I have been preparing good-fertilizing soil since February. I built a compost bin with  two compartments. One side I kept empty so I have room to “turn over the compost” after a couple months. The bottom of the compost pile is where all the chemistry happens, and the hotter the bottom, the better. Stuff on top will only slowly ‘rot’. Turning your pile periodically upside down in necessary to speed up decomposition.

hay binI was keeping bunny food– hay– on my empty side. In order to turn the compost, yesterday I built a new bin just for bunny chow. I don’t keep my bunnies in cages all week long (too cruel), so let them free roam in gated pens. You have to watch bunnies. They get into trouble. As I was leveling out the space where I planned to build the hay bin, some earth crumbled and caved in when my mattock struck! It turned out my rascally rabbits had dug a dsc000132 secret underground rabbit den that I knew nothing  about. Thank goodness it was alongside the house. I  worry they may escape if they do the same near the  fence. I have to always keep an eye on these trouble-  making bunnies!!!

turning my compost over

turning my compost over

Anyway, I built the hay bin, transfered my bunny hay over to it, and then turned my compost pile. I was very pleased! My compost was very rich and even black underneath. Plus, I  had a lot of it! The compost was three-and-one half months of lawn clippings (from three homes) with bunny droppings (bunnies have to earn their keep!) and some old leaves and hay. I found the wet areas of the pile appeared better degraded than dry. I guess moisture also speeds up decomposition. I had a lot of ready-to-use fertilizer compost, most of it was already like pure dirt. Almost as good as worm droppings! Incidently, I am supplementing regular compost with a worm farm. Will share that soon too!

God Bless!


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