Saturday, May 28, 2011

May 28, 2011

First off, a bit thank you to everyone who's followed this new blog site! We just hit 50 folks.  Thanks and I hope you enjoy it.

Many of you I've returned the favor and have found several new blogs to read on a regular basis.  I try my best to comment when the post strikes my fancy.  However, I'm very frustrated at the moment.  For some reason I can no longer comment on folks posts.  It now says I have to choose a profile.  When I choose google, it asks me to log in (I should be already logged in).  So I log in again, and it takes me back to my post.  However, now it says "anonymous says" and then I type the word and it takes me back to logging into google.  That process continues in a loop.

Needless to say, I have tons of comments I would like to make but have been unable to do so.  Sorry folks.  Anyone have any thoughts on how to fix this?

I guess for a blog post tonight, I'll talk compost!  I haven't done that in a while. 

Spring is the revival of my compost pile.  This year, like so many others I'm doing a single pile while I use last year's compost from the other bin.  It's not the way I would like to do it, but I just don't have the space for a three bin system.

Anyway, with spring comes the time to start mowing the lawn again.  I've got a 1/4 acre of mostly grass, so when I mow, I have over a cubic yard of clippings.  I was excited to be able to mix in my used bedding and droppings.  A very new experience for me and one I've been looking forward to since I read how good chickens are for the garden!

Yep, one change of the potato bin brooder box creates about 10 gallons of bedding.  At least it fills two 5 gallon buckets, hehe.  I decided to use one bucket per yard. 

After dumping the greens on top of the partially composted material, I added the kitchen compost, spread out the used bedding and wet it down.

Then, as my yard is so much work to mow, the next day I mowed the back and put it down on top, followed by the second bucket of bedding.  I ended it up with the final bit of clippings. 

So, in the end, one mowing created a compost pile that's 5x5x3'.  My brother on the other hand, ripped out his front yard grass years ago and has to ask his neighbors for their clippings.  Anyway, I need more browns in this bin.  It was a bit stinky for the next several days as the nitrogen burned off into the air.  Next time I guess I'll have to lay down more newspaper and mow it into the clippings.  It's a good way to mix in browns.  Odd looking but effective.  Funny how I have access to countless sources of greens but very few browns in early spring.  Sure there's the bedding, as well as leaves and twigs I mow up, but other than paper, what is there in abundance?  And to think with this weather (rain one day, followed by a few days of partial sun) I'll have to mow again this week!  It'll mean great compost next year.

Lastly, I was reading a back copy of my brother's Mother Earth News magazine, and there was an article about wood chips and sawdust as mulch in the garden.  Apparently wood shavings with a bit of nitrogen material makes a great mulch and even though it breaks down slowly, over a few years it increases the amount of organic material in the soil more than any other mulch.  It also makes an incredible mulch for blueberries and strawberries.  Bingo! I just happen to have a blueberry/strawberry bed! I can't wait to try out using bedding as mulch to control weeds. I may just sacrifice using bedding in my compost if it means not having to weed that bed as often. It also increases the acidity in the soil, which blueberries love.  Very cool.  Hehe, I need more bedding, or another source of browns!

Enjoy your garden!


  1. I noticed a problem with commenting on blogs too. It began a few days ago. I looked it up and it is a Blogger issue that they are working on:

    You are going to have some really nice compost. Especially with the chicken bedding.

  2. Same thing happened to me yesterday, and again today. so I think maybe it's something that Google has to fix, and not you. In the meantime you could just comment as Anonymous, and if you wish, identify yoursef at the end.

  3. I generate browns with a paper shredder - non shiny junk mail, old financial and bank statements etc...shred and you have free browns for the compost.

    That said I'm the worlds worst composter (as in results, not dedication to the idea) so ymmv.

  4. Ha-ha, I scrolled too far down on the page, and commented on the wrong blog. I commented on your Blogger problem under your tomato problem :-D

  5. Cardboard. Either soak it until it falls apart, or I run mine through a paper shredder.

  6. In regards to the post a comment thing. I'm only having trouble when using internet explorer.... Try Firefox browser... it keeps you logged into your profile. Thanks for the tip about using wood chips as mulch... I'm going to have to try to locate some.

    Also, I have access to a lot of coffee grounds. Can someone remind me was it tomatoes that like those or potatoes or everything?