Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Compost from the Sky?

As many of you know from reading the various articles on our website and blog as well as the podcasts we conduct, composting is a major part of our vegetable gardening efforts. I am a believer that you really can not have a successful vegetable garden without implementing even a minor effort of composting. I am sure some of our readers will disagree and I would love to hear your thoughts.

However, I am big believer in compost because the benefits far outweigh any amount of work one would have to conduct to “make it happen”. There are various types of composting methods, from piles and vermicompost, to trench composting. One thing struck me as interesting as I was sitting at my kitchen table this morning looking out the window of my garden area.

I had noticed that the leaves of the tree in my neighbor’s yard were beginning to fall and as luck would have it (only a gardener would consider leaves falling in their yard as luck), they were falling directly into my garden. It got me thinking. `How about this? Compost from the sky!`

Leaves and leaf mulch make for great compost to be added to any garden. Many composting purists will say that you should add equal parts green (such as grass) with equal parts brown (such as leaves) to ensure that your compost has all of the nutrients it is supposed to have. I will save that debate for a future article and podcast.

I looked at the leaves falling into my garden from a different angle. That is, less work for me! Let’s face it. Each year I do my best to reduce the amount of “extra” work I have to do in the garden, such as laying down newspaper as a weed barrier, or setting up automatic sprinklers to do the watering for me. I am sure many of you do the same.

Without even trying I found another way to reduce some of my composting work. I am going to simply “leave” the leaves there and in the spring I will turn them into the ground with additional compost from my pile that I currently have on the other side of my shed.

My neighbor is nice enough to give me such a great gift and yet, he probably doesn’t even know it. Hopefully he is not an avid vegetable gardening enthusiast such as me to the point where he comes over and asks for his leaves back :-)

About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the author of Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the rest of us and the administrator for the largest vegetable gardening page on Facebook.

Watch the video below to learn more about Mike`s Seeds of the Month Club:

1 comment:

  1. My neighbor "gives" me many, many pine needles. I manage to compost them. Is that really okay? I have heard conflicting things about pine needles.