Tag Archives: compost

the other cycle

not just the cycle of seasons. there is also the cycle of materials through the garden. spent plants, weeds, and vegetable scraps from the kitchen all go into the compost pile. they accumulate and age for about a year. microbes, worms, and insects do their part to break down the materials. aside from a few sticks and walnut shells what is left is clean compost. the shells and sticks go back into the next pile. and the compost goes into the garden for new plants…


today was a day for emptying the compost pile. and filling the bin of composted dirt. and harvesting seeds. and removing plants from the garden. tomorrow the emptying of one pile will finish. and more plants will be removed.

18-0812-001 VF kid brown x Charon The Ferryman
18-0812-001 VF kid brown x Charon The Ferryman

compost for moving day

moving day is coming.  more like moving days.  plants will be moving.  the garden game of musical chairs is starting.  and when the music stops a plant better have a landing spot.  before that happens compost and peat moss need to be ready.  so today a finished compost pile was emptied.  and stored in the holding bin.  and now there is a nice empty compost bin for all the scraps and waste as plants are moved.  and a place for lawn trimmings to go.  it was a hot sunny morning for moving compost.  then the weather changed.  the sky darkened, the wind blew, and there was just enough time to harvest today’s batch of seed pods.  this morning while it was still cool enough there was time to cross two plants that are short pink and like to rebloom.  one is a seedling from Stella’s Ruffled Fingers and the other is Plenteous.  they must like to rebloom since it is almost september and they are blooming again.  hopefully crossing these two will produce plants that have even a stronger rebloom habit.  if the cross takes the seeds should ripen near the end of october.

the dirt on next summer

on every summer.  that is the compost pile.  it is an assist to nature’s way of reusing what some of us would throw away.  waste not.  the leaves and garden scraps do not go out in the trash.  they go into the compost and eventually back into the garden.  soil is an organic fabric that should be constantly renewed.  when it is renewed soil is enriched.  and the fabric is a deep and complex brocade.  like the upturned bird bath covered in snow and resembling a mushroom –  what we so often see as waste and rot is only half of the story.  yes things come apart.  and what has come apart is part of the building blocks of what is to come.  seven images…

16-0629-001 purple dip ufo

16-0629-001 purple dip ufo



compost, hate, and apologies. oh my !

it feels like a very bad dream where the things you want most not to happen do happen.  how did i and we get here ?  how do we wake up ?  if you have been here a few times you know i strongly believe in the value of compost.  what some people would throw away is the most valuable.  compost enriches the garden and brings forth good things.  rather than dance around the elephant in the room i will come right out and say it.  there are no shit hole countries.  i think there are many many many people who along with me did not say the contrary and yet like myself will apologize for this sad unspeakable event.  i am sorry.  we are sorry.  great happenings, great people come from unexpected places.  if you do not believe me ask a son of Kenya.  i could go on except i will opt to keep things simple.  great things do not come from hate.  i am very very sorry.  i will close with an equally embarrassed flower.


the compost bin was empty.  all of the finished compost is tucked away in a single bin.  first it too was emptied.  encroaching tree roots were cut out.  i just share for a little while.  the tree got its share.  now the rest is for the garden.  and the other compost bin is starting all over.  the yard waste is now starting to fill the bin again.  and the twenty or so containers of yard waste have been emptied.  a good compost bin never stays empty very long.  and while all this was going on i noticed a few of the daylily seeds are poking their heads above grown.  little green leaves are reaching for the sky.  how did that wild west cliche get in here ! ? !  anyway here is tonight’s flower.  three images…


working in the garden means working with dirt.  when a plant comes to the garden it does not just get planted.  our soil is what i have come to call urban land fill.  when we first moved here i thought it was clay.  and part of it is.  there is also a layer above the clay that contains all sorts of things.  not quite ancient archeology things.  slightly more recent things and they are covered with another layer of clay.  over the years the things have been removed.  all sorts of metal, brick, glass, and other odd junk.  so the hole is dug.  junk removed.  and soil amendments added.  some of the original soil goes back in minus the junk.  after all clay itself is very good for holding soil nutrients.  a couple shovels full of peat moss and a couple of compost.  the compost is grown right here.  and the grapehoe is a great tool for emptying and turning the compost pile.  between the shovel and the grapehoe there are two items that figure into the cherished objects.  without them the gardening, the dirt would not get done.  dirt, that figures in too.  and plants like Ballad of a Thin Man would not grow quite so well.  four images plants and tools…

shovel and grapehoe 20160730_104435 Ballad of a Thin Man 20160730_105726 det Ballad of a Thin Man 20160730_105726 macro

Ballad of a Thin Man

Ballad of a Thin Man

well fed

this time of year tends to make one well fed.   and caution is advised.  the garden will be well fed in the spring as replanting occurs.  seen is the compost pile in spring, mid summer, and fall.  the first three to the left are working piles.  add a layer of plant matter about 12 inches deep 30.48 cm.  with a layer of dirt on top.   about one inch or up to six inches deep of dirt,  depending on how much time you have to keep things moving.  keep it barely damp and age for 9 to 12 months.  empty as needed.  it is good exercise.  and the finished product is at the far right.  it is great for planting.  it is also one component of keeping a place for a more natural balance of bugs in the garden.  we use compost, organic fertilizer, and companion plantings and natural predators here.  we do not use artificial fertilizers, or pesticides.  the lawn gets sunlight, rain, and a high cutting to minimize the growth of weeds  and little else.  it is not all grass by any measure.  there is a mix of clover and what others might call weeds.  to me it is a more balanced lawn.  and it is just green mulch to hold the soil in place until it can be changed to active garden.  let’s just say it is at least close to half garden.  the lawn here is meant to be a pathway – not a putting green.  or to put it dirt simple, more time in the garden and less time cutting the lawn.  four images…

moving-compost spring compost pile IMG_1386 grdn summer img_5785 compost fall grdn13-000-img_1413 det

it is dark, come in from the garden . . .

this year’s seedling bed is getting closer and closer to being ready to plant.   all of the old plants are moved out.  lots of weeds and tree roots have been ejected.  and the damp soil is step by step getting drier and being groomed free ( or nearly so ) of weeds so that the seeds will have a fighting chance.  as mentioned before the garden is mostly organic so the only weed killer applied is the two legged variety carrying a hoe.  it is not always pretty, and it is never completely weed free, still it works.  and it makes for good compost and better soil texture.  and most years there are more than enough daylily seedlings to keep me busy in the garden.  now to rustle up a picture or two…

some of these will become apples.  and some will not…

apple after the blossom macro  apple after the blossom det

moving day

Today was moving day.  Empty the compost pile – and make room for more yard waste.  Move the finished compost to the holding bin.

moving compost

Empty one of the evaluation beds.  And start moving the 2011 evaluation plants into the newly emptied bed.

empty evaluation bed 2013

And now continue to catch up on the pictures from this summer.  Now that I have found this picture I will need to find the plant.  It is now on the list to move to the evaluation bed.

11-082 Webster Seedling x (09-009 South Seas x Highland Pinched Fingers) det