It’s that time of year to clean up organic detritus from planter boxes and gardens. At the Beban Learning Gardens, that means we go into high gear making compost to nourish next spring’s plantings. Here’s our composting approach:
Volunteers chop tough stems with pruning shears, piling them into buckets to take to the composter. In a few weeks, we’ll also start raking tree leaves; to chop the leaves, we put them into large garbage cans and use a corded weed trimmer to chop into small pieces that break down readily.
Good compost requires a balance of fresh greens, dried materials and high density nutrients. Our compost consists of fresh garden detritus, dried tree leaves, seaweed, coffee grounds and manure.
Compost must be turned periodically to enable air flow, which ensures more even moisture levels and promotes the natural breakdown into a source of nourishment for next year’s crops. We use a simple pitchfork and lots of manual effort; a composting tool (wing-ding) is also a good option when using a compost container system like ours.
If you’d like to see our composting in action, come join our volunteers at one of our work parties Wednesdays or Saturdays.