Sheet Composting – Final Tips ~ Part 8

Is Compost a Fertilizer? No, and yes - but not in the true sense of the word. Though compost usually contains varying amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, the concentrations of these nutrients are lower than what you'll find in common fertilizers. It is more properly described as a super soil amendment that returns … [Read more...]

Sheet Composting – Using Coffee Sacks ~ Part 7

The Interbay Mulch composting method differs in one way — burlap is used to cover the entire layered bed. I used coffee bean sacks to put my bed to rest before winter arrived, and by spring's arrival saw some interesting results. Part 7 In Part 6 I wrote about the benefits of topping off the sheet composting pile with burlap, or used coffee bean … [Read more...]

Sheet Composting – Coffee Sacks for the Final Layer ~ Part 6

The Interbay Mulch method was developed by a coordinator at the Interbay P-Patch, "The Garden Between the Bays" in Seattle, Washington. The Interbay P-Patch is one of Seattle's largest community gardens and is recognized as a shining example of resourcefulness and sustainability. The soil enriching method has been compared to sheet composting (or … [Read more...]

Sheet Composting – Layering the Compost Pile ~ Part 5

"Cold composting is the easiest way to make compost if you can't or don't want to tend to it. Just build up a pile that has as many layers of greens and browns as you've got on hand; then leave it alone to decompose, letting Mother Nature and the microorganisms do the work. If you're very fortunate, your pile might be finished within 4-6 months; … [Read more...]

Keyhole Gardening Technique

Keyhole Gardening - An Interesting Concept I received an email from Artistic Garden friend and reader Liz F. the other day asking me if I'd heard of "keyhole gardening." She had seen my article about sheet composting, and thought I might not be aware of this technique. I admit it - I've never heard of it before! I don't know who may have … [Read more...]

Sheet Composting – Gettin’ My Hands on Green Matter ~ Part 4

Greens are nitrogen rich materials that are an essential ingredient for a compost pile or bed. Greens help the friendly composting microbes to grow, breed, and multiply fast in the pile, thus creating the hot internal temperature necessary to "cook" a compost pile. Greens are materials such as vegetable and fruit wastes, eggshells, coffee … [Read more...]

Sheet Composting – Gettin' My Hands on Brown Matter ~ Part 3

Browns are carbon rich materials. Dry or woody vegetation and matter such as dried leaves, sticks, straw, and even newspaper and cardboard are great brown matter to use for composting. Part 3 So, in Part 2 I told you how I scored big-time and got a lot of free cow manure that helped me solve the issue of having enough green matter on hand for my … [Read more...]

Sheet Composting – My Cow Manure Adventure ~ Part 2

" ... many people will insist that this pile of organic matter must be combined with manure to make good compost. I’ll get into that in a moment, as manure is not necessarily essential for making good quality compost. (There … those of you who just had a horrible vision of toting home bushels of cow manure and stinking up your nice car can relax! … [Read more...]

Sheet Composting – Build a Bed Now for Planting Next Spring ~ Part 1

"Compost is a gardener's most versatile ally and what’s more, it’s free to make to boot! Its nutrient-rich properties add a bit of fertilizer to the soil and acts either as a superb soil amendment or wonderful biodegradable mulch." ~~The Shoestring Gardener eBook Did you know that now on-up-to about mid-October is really a great time to begin a … [Read more...]