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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Black Gold-the garden in winter

Black gold has been found in our garden...not Texas T or any kind of profitable gold!  We are talking about compost here. Erik and I save all our fruit and veggie scraps for the compost bin. We do a two step process. Above is the "Death Star." It is a round ball that rotates on a base and is used for the first phase of compost. Our yard does not get a lot of heat, so most of the composting occurs through cold fermentation. When you open the death star to put more stuff in it, the smell is enough to ask if a sewer pipe has burst.
Phase two occurs in this compost bin. This holds several months of the fermented yuck from the death star, and helps the compost to dry out more.
After another couple of months, the compost is ready to be used. It is transferred into this bucket and shoveled through a screen to remove the avocado pits and other things that just don't get enough heat to break down.
This screen was easily made with scrap lumber and hardware cloth. I put the larger mulch leftovers into my potted plants, and add the finer compost to the veggie beds.
It looks like good old dirt, but is chock full of great things for the soil. It smells like rich earth, a gardener's bouquet.
The beds are being prepped for some lettuce and cabbage family additions.
All the roses have been pruned, and general garden clean up has taken place as the seasons begin to change.
What an amazing cycle plants go through, they lose their leaves and allow more light to filter through during the colder months. Although we are not having much of a winter yet here in San Diego! These tomato plants have grown themselves from dropped fruit last season.



  1. I finally have a yard and have really enjoyed landscaping and selecting various plants to grow. There's something very satisfying and relaxing about the process.

  2. there is nothing like planting something and watching it go through the growth cycle, a very rewarding part of life