Friday, October 17, 2014

Gifts from the compost heap

Besides giving me lots of great additive for our heavy clay-based soil, our compost pile gave me four other wonderful gifts this fall...


There were probably a dozen tomato seedlings growing on the top of my half-finished compost bin, so I dug four up and brought them into the greenhouse at the beginning of September (just before that first frosty snowfall on September 8th). Here's what they look like today...


A bit sparse and spindly, but there's fruit on those vines. As the sun is getting weaker by the day, this experiment might only give us a few tomatoes, as there will come a point when heating the greenhouse might seem a bit silly, and I'm not sure bringing these plants into the house will help much as our triple-paned energy efficient windows block out valuable rays. I think most of these are heirloom cherry tomatoes, so it's not like we'll get a big feed regardless, but it's fun to try. 


In the meantime, I'm plugging the benefits of composting to anyone who will listen, and borrowing leaves from family, friends and neighbours for next year's composting (we go through at least 20 big bags of leaves per year, if not more -- I always forget to count!) This year's compost is pretty much used up -- I dug a lot into the garden boxes on Tuesday, and yesterday and today I planted compost with my 113 tulip bulbs. It's nice to know that they have a good start in their compost/soil mix. I can't explain how good it feels to remediate my soil with the good black stuff I worked on making most of the summer. Way better than any chemical fertilizer money can buy!

If you like the idea of composting, but aren't sure how, there are likely books at your public library, or courses in your community. Failing that, feel free to leave a message below and I'll get back to you!

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