Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mulch Musings (aka the Compost Chronicles)

There are four things I don't do enough -

Drink plenty of water
Take my vitamins
Stretch before and after I exercise

and finally

Turn over my compost.

I have three compost / mulch bins I picked up at Agway. They are made of wire and come in 3 ft x 3 ft sections. They fit together into neat little boxes. I fill them every year with yard waste - hoping to have that wonderful, dark compost gardeners prize.

I am not one of those active composters. I don't save every cucumber peeling, torn lettuce leaf, apple core, or dirty onion skin. I collect up as many leaves I can fit into the mulch bins. As I weed some of the garden beds during the year, the unfortunate, undesireable plants find their way in the bins with last fall's leaves. Once in a while a wilted vegetable or sickly house plant comes to visit the mulch bin, never to leave.

I know I should turn the bins over every few weeks, but I am lucky if I do it every 2 months. They need to get turned so that the plant matter decomposes, making it the nice, dark garden food it aspires to be. It is the plant form of resurrection.

I did turn the compost piles over last weekend. I had three full bins earlier in the year, and now I have 1 1/2 bins. I had just one bin's worth last year. I suppose I'll get down to 1 bin by late October (I better - I need to put the leaves somewhere!).

As I was looking at the mulch, I was pondering what I did with last years mulch? I did not work it into the garden beds. I used a little to fill in an area where I had dug in the yard. Where did the rest of the mulch go? Maybe someone is sneaking into my yard to steal my mulch.

I will have to pay more attention next year to see where my mulch goes.


~ RM said...

haha the mulch thieves must be dealt with!!
(And remember not to contaminate your mulch with 'sick' plants!) Maybe this would be a good Christmas gift for ya'.

Uncle Tractor said...

$32 for a bucket? I don't think so . . .