Vacation: Day 5

Today I worked my compost pile (and drank a beer)

001

PHEW !!!  Really late this year getting it done !!

002

I made a screen about 20 years ago (WOW, that long ago??) with 1/2″ by 1/2″ wire.

003

I got about three wheelbarrows out of last years compost.

004

I used it around my little oak tree and it was used all around my palatial estate as cover and it gets worked into the soil as well.

005

All cleaned out and ready for the new material to start again.  I use an old plastic garbage can with holes drilled in it as the pre-cooker .  A well managed compost pile really shouldn’t have too much of an odor.  But I mostly put grass clippings in the composter and I LOVE that ammonia smell !!

006

I let the debris that failed to go through the screen dry out in the sun on the tarp, put it back in the bucket and “chopped” it with a spade and screened it again.  This is all that was left.  Makes a big difference to make sure you don’t put things in the compost that will definitely not decompose or go through the screen.

 

Compost 2017

The compost pile for 2017:

I FINALLY got to close up the yard !

Almost every weekend for the past two months has been wet and cold and I had not the chance to do a final mow and rake leaves.

But last week I did have have a mighty fine weekend and got almost all of the work done.  I mowed the yard three times: once high, once normal and a third  time low with the mulching bag on.  I ended up with a great mix of fresh green clippings with dead and finely shredded leaves.

If you watched the video, you would have seen the steam coming out when I turned the pile over.  I will try to turn the pile at least every other day until it freezes.

Compost Day

The recent Memorial Day weekend was fantastic weather !!

After a very cold winter and a cool wet spring, this was the first real set of consecutive great days of weather.

So, I took advantage of this weather and used it to clean out my compost pile. (WOOOOOOOOOOOO, I’m a wild man !!)

 

Compost_Day_001

There she is !

This pile has been there probably since the end of last summer.  I put my household food waste into the blue garbage can and let it cook in there for a time.  I drilled some holes in the garbage can for drainage and ventilation.

I mow and bag a lot of my garden waste, and that gets tossed in the can for cooking as well.  I try not to put too many stems and stalks from plants as they don’t breakdown well enough.   In the fall, I mow/mulch my tree leaves really fine and that gets tossed on the pile and cooks there over the winter.

The pile that was there last spring was GREAT for digging huge worms out for fishing. (Mental note.. buy new fishing license)

Compost_Day_002

If you have a yard, you need to have a wheelbarrow.

About ten years ago I made the homemade sifter.  Just galvanized screen with 1/2 X 1/2 openings.

 

Compost_Day_003

Two good sized shovels full of the compost at a time.

Compost_Day_004

Give the screen a good shake, toss out the chunks and repeat until the wheelbarrow is full.

 

Compost_Day_005

All gone !!

I got over two full wheelbarrows of the sifted compost.

I can either use it straight up in planters or mix it with store bought potting soil or just mix it into the garden area.

 

Compost_Day_006

This is how much didn’t go through the screen.

 

Compost_Day_007

The current compost in the cooker gets dumped into the cleaned area.

 

Compost_Day_008

Getting it ready to go again.

 

Compost_Day_009

I put the chunks in a bucket and chopped it with a shovel, and after re-sifting, this is all that was left that will get tossed.

Compost_Day_010

Composting is really pretty simple, but it does require a little bit of work if you want it to come out the best it can.

Here, I took the extra time to chop/slice/dice our watermelon rind.

Also helps quite a bit if you turn it with a shovel every couple of days.

Compost_Day_011

And the process begins again !!!