Easter Monday, which means at our house it’s time for a breath. Like most, we had a fun filled family weekend, with a part of our extended family visiting here at our home. The weather didn’t cooperate all that well, but…..it’s April! And, I am glad that our roads are clear, easily drivable, our sunlight hours are longer, and in general, the refreshing feeling of impending warmth and spring are upon us!
Since I have my little seedlings under lights, and my garden is still needing some time before getting into it, I have been putting thought into ‘what else’ I need to do to ready for the season. Each fall, I leave most of the perennial foliage in the garden, to die gracefully, and become a home for wintering beneficials. Now, of course, I must carefully remove some of the debris, while still protecting the little crawlers who live in the leaves and mulch. I am not a ‘scrap it clean’ gardener, as disturbing all of the wonderful organic material doesn’t help our soil or our bugs out, but there are some things that need to be cut back, so it is a slow task, but a good one. And, all of last years spent foliage that is removed will find its way to the compost piles.
My composting consists of 3 piles; one is for the newest material, one is the ‘last season’ pile, and one is the season prior….and I keep a supply of soil close by to add to the mix. My lovely composting site is situated a short distance from our main yard, as my husband is always worried about the smell…..now, I will let you know that rarely does my compost smell….and rarely should it. If the plant matter is added regularly, with ample air circulation, and a bit of soil to assist in the process, nature will work it’s magic in a short season. What does smell on occasion is the bucket I have to collect my household compost….and that is only because I don’t always get it out to the pile regularly….so it is not always pleasant. (I’m sure there is no further explanation needed here….)
We do most of our composting in spring, summer and fall, of course because winter sees nothing but the household compost. It has been a bit of a trick to collect winter compost material and to get it to the pile, as we often have a LOT of snow to plow through to get to the back yard, never mind to the composting site!! I have gone back and forth on the best way to take advantage of composting in winter….Sometimes, I have let a small pile freeze and then move it in the spring (yuk!) or I have discontinued the process through winter (sad face), or I have attempted to get to the composting site in my winter gear, bucket in hand…..none of these work out well…..fast forward to this year….We discovered a wonderful new product on the market, and decided to give it a try! Now, before I go on, let me tell you that I am not advertising for this product, nor for the locations that you may purchase it, but I was quite taken with it, so I just want to share the idea!!! And, you may already know about it, so bonus.
We saw this little Green Lid product on a TV show, and decided to check it out. It is a Canadian made product, sold in some of the bigger hardware chains. The purpose behind the creation of this product was to develop a ‘bucket’ that would hold compost, not leak and be biodegradable. Before I endorse anything, to anyone, I need to give it a try. We purchased the starter kit, which was one lid and 5 buckets. After this, we need only to purchase the disposable buckets, as the lid lives on forever! I have been pleased with the results of our trial. We don’t have massive amounts of compost in the winter, but we were able to easily store the buckets indoors, fill, then move them outside to freeze until we now can finally make our way (and theirs) to the composting site! I like them. Not for everyone, I know, but the little added convenience is great for me and keeps me in the composting zone.
Look them up….very inexpensive and a nice alternative. For me, it is back to my plastic bucket for the warm seasons, but I will certainly use these again in the winter. For those who need to send composting to a city facility with other waste material, this may be a great option….Just my thoughts and maybe something new to try.