Composting – A Gardner’s Best Friend

As I plan for gardening season inside we have been hit with another small storm mixed with ice and snow outside. Despite this small winter storm, I know warm weather is not far off. One of my tips for a successful garden is feeding your garden every year with compost. 

Composting is something everyone can do and can be as elaborate or simple as you want to make it. We take leftover fencing, roll it to make a cage and begin piling anything compostable into it. For us, this includes chicken bedding from the coop, leftover food scraps, grass clippings or leaves. Once your compost pile is established, all it needs is to be occasionally turned, a little water and time to break down. If your compost pile has a smell to it, add some nutrients high in carbon such as hay, leaves or sawdust. A balanced compost pile should not have a smell. 

Some plants are heavier feeders than others, meaning they need a lot of nutrients in the soil, such as pumpkins, tomatoes, potatoes and squash and really benefit from composting. If doing raised beds, composting not only adds nutrients back into the bed but also can fluff up the soil making it easier to plant.  

Compost contains various organism which makes it fun for our chickens to dig through and forage for bugs. The benefit to this is our chickens will naturally stir our compost for us! We have strategically placed our compost next to the chicken coop and garden so it can conveniently feed both. Next time you have some yard waste or wonder what to do with leftover food scraps, consider starting up your own compost pile! 

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