Sunday, May 4, 2008

May 4, 2008

I just had to mow today. The weather was great (72 - monthly high so far) and the grass was getting long. Of course I don't have a compost bin yet, the company that's getting rid of the pallets isn't open on the weekends. So I filled my big green yard waste container full. Then I spread newspaper over a 5x5 area and dumped the container. It wasn't easy at all, that sucker's heavy! When I've got a 3 foot bin there I'll empty the bin when it's half full. hehe.I ended up filling the bin twice to mow my yard. I believe I can fill a 5x5x3 bin in a month with my yard.  Good thing I'm going to build two of them. I mixed in some brown material we've been collecting from the house and have a good sized pile of compost on newspaper. I hope to build the bins tomorrow and place it over the pile. It's a hope.   Then if I can get it to compost down in a month I can keep it going. What I'll do with all that compost I have no idea, hehe.


The cool part is with all the twigs and leaves I mowed up will work well as brown material. I still have way too much green, but I'll keep mixing in house compost stuff to try to balance it. This is fun.

I found in my research that cat fur (and human hair) is high in nitrogen but has a carbon ratio of 2:1, so it's a brown.  Thankfully I've got two cats so I brushed them today, and cleaned off their cat bed and scratch post. I got a softball sized fur ball compressed. I spread it out throughout the pile while the kids were playing outside.  What a great evening to do that!  It's after 8 and still in the upper 50s. 


So, what did I get accomplished today, besides mowing and starting my compost?


Well, I went through the baggies on the top of my fridge and found most of the seeds had sprouted.  So I planted two squares of bush beans, one square of pole beans, tons of corn and one of the four peas I started germinating. Sheesh, the sugar snap peas germinate horribly.  I wonder if they're old seed despite being "packaged in 2008" hmmm?  I need to start more Precocious corn because it doesn't germinate nearly as well as Seneca Horizon.  I guess I'll do that after the kids go to bed.


When the weather heated up, I vented the hoop cover so it didn't fry the seedlings. At the same time I just had to snap a few pics of how great the seedlings are doing. They sure like the hot house under that cover.  Though if the weather stays nice consistently I'll take it down.  Speaking of which, I'm sure my wife would like me to remove all the ten foot PVC pipes from her van so she can go to school tomorrow. Hehe.


While I was under there checking out seedlings, I snapped a few pics.  Here is the current state of my seedlings...


Here's my spinach. Doesn't it look cool!  I can't wait to start harvesting now that I've tasted my radishes!

Look at the lettuce!  The far left is Salad Bowl, the middle is Italiansheir (sp) and the third not shown is Red Sails. I wanted texture, taste and color.  That's what each will give me. Add spinach and you've got a great start of a salad! In the foreground are my succession planting of lettuce. 


Here's hoping I get my pallets tomorrow so I can at least build one bin.  And while we're hoping, let's hope I've got close enough to a 50/50 ratio of greens to browns so the whole hot composting thing works for me.  The good thing is my wife's getting into this composting thing.  She's read the 163 things you can compost and is asking me about more things we can compost.  Pretty cool!


Hope you got out in your garden this weekend!






  1. penguingardenerMay 4, 2008 at 9:26 PM

    Don't forget laundry lint (from your dryer's lint screen) for your compost pile. :)

    Also, your pile will shrink over time and the better the ratio of browns to greens, the faster. So you should certainly have room for your grass clippings monthly.

    BTW, most newspapers are printed with soy ink these days, even the color pages. Check with your publishers' website, it usually mentions it if soy is used. Or email their customer service folks. So when you shovel your clippings to your pile, you might also toss in that layer of newspaper too.

  2. Oh my goodness -- that's definitely alot of green -- but that's great! You'll have your compost pile heating up in no time flat :-) It takes the green stuff to make that happen. Hope you can get your pallets today. Even if you can't it doesn't matter, that stuff will get stated composting....

    And your garden and plants are looking great! That all it took was a little bit of warm weather. Loved the pics!!

  3. Wow makes me want to start composting - and your plants look gorgeous!!
    ~plantgirl of