Composting in the Garden

We’ve always been told that money doesn’t grow on trees but I beg to differ. Composting  garden waste along with kitchen waste does indeed result in gold, garden gold that is.

Composting in the Garden with Sensible Gardening

Compost is the end product when organic matter decomposes. Yard compost consists of grass clippings (no chemical fertilizers please), garden debris and kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps. It is truly a recycling of organic matter back to the earth where it began. Compost from yard waste is an invaluable natural fertilizer, it’s inexpensive, improves soil composition and drainage.

Composting in the garden with Sensible Gardening

The garden market has inundated us with many different composting systems. There are special bins, tumblers, kits and plans for making compost bins and containers. When used properly all of them work, I find however that they are usually far too small for practical purposes and many are too difficult to maneuver.

Even after building a good size 3 stage wooden yard compost system, getting in there with a pitchfork to turn the compost over to speed up the decomposing cycle was very difficult. My experience is that when a chore is too difficult for the strength you posses you tend to avoid it, and so you should. Backyard composting should not be detrimental to your well being.

Composting in the Garden with Sensible Gardening


For me, the best practice for backyard gardening composting is the slow or passive way. It may not be the fastest as the pile is allowed to decompose at it’s own speed. Find an area in your garden that is somewhat hidden from view, perhaps behind a garden shed or stand of shrubs. Simply pile your grass clippings, garden clippings and vegetable kitchen scraps together and allow nature to do it’s job. Keep it organic, avoid adding weeds that are in seed or weeds that propagate by tiny root cuttings. Diseased plant material should never be part of your compost’s diet nor should any animal matter such as meat or fat scraps from the kitchen, pet feces or charcoal ashes. This is a compost pile not a garbage site. If you feel energetic hose the pile down occasionally. The smaller the pieces of material that you pile onto your yard composter the faster the decomposition will take place.

Composting in the garden with Sensible Gardening

Your backyard gardening  end product will be a nutritionally rich black crumbly compost. Use it everywhere. Mulching flower beds will reward you with more and bigger blooms. Dig it into your soil, use it for planting flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees. Spread it around as a mulch to feed your plants, as you water the nutrients will slowly filter through the soil like a tea bag to feed the plant roots. As a bonus, when you compost yard waste, your resulting bag of gold is free!

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Composting in the Garden with Sensible gardening. What is Passive Composting?

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