Monday, April 28, 2008

April 28, 2008

Good news, I'm getting excited about joining the ranks of the composting few.  I want to build a compost bin out of recycled pallets.  With the space I've got in the back of my yard I figure I can easily fit one two wide and one deep, so I'll need a total of 6 pallets. For the bottom I plan on putting down several sheets of newspaper. I read that you shouldn't use sheets with color on them so I have to surgically dig into my wife's left over papers from her route. The company wants her to recycle the paper ONLY at the distributor's site, but they won't miss the whopping two pages per issue that are 100% black and white. 

I think the only things stopping me right now from building my bins are 1) the lack of pallets, though I'm sure I can find them on Craigs List, and 2) if I can compost dandelions that haven't gone puffy.  See, I've got a neighbor that's cultivating weeds, big bushy ones.  It's impossible to keep weeds out of my yard.  Right now I'm just picking the yellow flowers off the stalks and recycling them.  But I have a question out as to whether or not I can mow them up and compost them. I wouldn't mow up any puffy clouds of seeds, but they yellow flowers would be nice just to grind up.

I don't think I can get a hot compost to work. I've got way too much "green" and not enough "brown" at this time of year.  I'll try to compost as much of the 163 Things you can Compost to keep the brown up, but I doubt I can overcome the tons of grass clippings my 1/4 acre generates. 

I just had to share more about my potatoes.  The Buttes are sprouting up a storm!  I count 5 sprouts from the Butte Bin compared to 2 in the Yukon Gold.  Problem? is that I'm getting multiple sprouts from the same seed potato.  I planted whole potatoes because I didn't want to cut them and most of them were too small to cut.  Do I have to thin these or will they just grow more potatoes just fine all cramped like that?  Rhetorical question, but I'll try to answer it throughout the season.  Very cool though!

Lastly, after I put down my little one (he's such a trooper, he's doing fine, even when I changed his bandage, though he cried when I removed the band aid), I went out to water the garden. It's too dark to take pictures but safe to say, what's sprouted is doing wonderfully!  What hasn't, hasn't.  Oh, and I planted another SF of radishes to succession plant now that they're finally growing!  Now to make dinner for myself and go read my favorite blogs and forums... maybe learn something new!  Isn't gardening fun!?!

Enjoy your garden and thank you for reading! If you enjoy or are learning from my mistakes, please pass this along to your gardening buddies!  Thanks! Sinfonian Barelytone!


  1. Let the taters sprout as many vines as they want. After all, the potatoes do grow from the lower regions of the vines.

  2. Hi Sin.... I think your compost pile will be fine. It may actually get hotter since you have more "greens" (based on the nitrogren heating up -- just in my opinion.... I don't know for sure). But, if that's the case, the heat will roast whatever weed seeds you might get in there and that would be great!

  3. If you need more brown for your compost pile, get yourself a bale of straw. Perfect brown. It works well for me this time of year when I'm getting plenty of green from grass clippings and not much brown. For Mother's Day, my children contacted a local fence builder and had him build me a beautiful two-bin chain link compost bin. It is wonderful and full of compost right now, cooking away. Try the straw idea.

  4. If I grew straw, or had easy access to it without driving $50 away to get it, I'd use it.

    As it is, I just got my hair cut and asked for any hair she had since she was just going to throw it away.

    I live in an urban (well suburban, but it's very urban for being suburban) area. The nearest horse shop is 30 miles away, and with a truck that gets gallons to the mile, how costly. That said, if you can get it, I'm sure hay's a great brown!