Composting in the winter at Truly-Life
Composting is an excellent way to improve your soil even in the winter. Our garden is full of Marine Clay, wonderful condition to stop any chance of radon in your basement, but unpleasant for gardening. Since we use our garden for our products such as loofahs, we need to supplement our soil. Marine Clay is a compacting material which is also rock hard, thus plant roots are not welcome to thrive.
Wood Chip Composting
After moving to my current home and not planning on moving any time soon, I decided to start flipping the soil to breakup the Marine Clay. Invasive trees that were dying around the yard were cut down and mulched. I flipped that into the soil. Mulched green wood will cause huge amounts of ants to build colonies. Over several years the ants went away and I continued to flip those tiny wood chips as they decayed into soil.
Every late fall we mow the yard to collect the leaves in the mower’s mulch bag. The chopped up leaves go back over all the garden beds. Leaves are an excellent source of nitrogen for the soil. They also insulate the garden beds in the winter. The next Spring weeds are pulled, the soil is flipped and the beds are ready for fresh mulch.
It may seem excessive, but we use three locations for house composting because it works best for our kitchen use. A bowl is next to the sink to capture food scraps, paper napkins, coffee, and tea. Once or twice a day the bowl is emptied into a small can just outside the backdoor. Once a week the small can is emptied into the black compost tumbler. The tumbler is emptied every three or four months. During the winter the tumbler can become full because it is too cold for the micro organisms to breakdown the materials. If this happens we start an additional closed container or if the ground is not frozen we dig a deep hole in the garden and empty the tumbler.
An open container is maintained to collect sticks, leaf material, paper, garden material and some weeds. This container’s contents settle down over time. We simply move the bottomless container to a new location within the perimeter plant beds.
Rabbit Litter Composting
Pet rabbits provide a constant natural fertilizer to enhance your soil. Rabbit manure is the only animal waste that does not need to be composted before it is applied around plants. Let us know if you are interested in trying some for your soil. It wouldn’t take long for us to create a 5 gallon bucket for you.
Share with us how you compost to improve your soil.