Smell Like Dirt

In Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret Atwood

Archive for compost

Global Worming

I’ve got a dirty little secret! Actually a bunch of them. I have worms. I’m a huge fan of vermicomposting, or using worms to process my kitchen scraps. Its very easy to do and can be done cheaply as well. Its a great way for people who live in apartments or condos who can’t build a compost pile, to recycle their kitchen scraps. Done right, your vermicompost bin will not smell at all. There’s a great book by Mary Appelhof called Worms Eat My Garbage, and she has plans for a coffee table that opens up to a worm composter. Ok, I’m not that nuts, but its proof that you can do it indoors and your guests would never know. Worm poop, or castings, is a great organic fertilizer that helps the plants grow while keeping pests and diseases at bay. I hope you’ll watch the video and be inspired to start your own can-o-worms. Pls feel free to email me if you have any questions. smelllikedirt@gmail.com

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Repurposing your Christmas Tree

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!! The Three R’s of Green Living–and you can practice all three with one simple step.  Instead of putting your live Christmas Tree onto the curb for the county to pick up, consider using it to start a brush pile in your backyard.  Brush piles are a great way to provide food and shelter for the wildlife that visit your yard.  The decomposing wood will attract beetles and other bugs which will in turn feed birds and other wildlife.  The shelter from the elements and protection from predators will benefit all types of birds and other animals this winter and will turn into a “places to raise young” in the spring.   It will be its on little ecosystem!

Preparing the Garden for Winter

Here’s our latest video on putting the gardens to bed for the winter.  We shot this video a few weeks ago, right after our first killing frost.  Then summer made an unexpected, but much appreciated, return last week with temps in the 80’s.  But alas, it could not last forever and we were back into the 20’s last night, so I’m glad we prepared the gardens when we did.   If you haven’t given your garden a good cleaning and a layer of compost for the winter, I hope this video will inspire you to action!

Composting Class on Sat 11/10 at Reedy Creek. Call now to reserve your seat in the class

I am teaching a PLANT (Piedmont Landscaping and Naturescaping Training) on Saturday at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve from 9a-1p for Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Authority. The class is $10 (Reedy Creek receives the money for hosting the class) and we will make a hot batch compost pile, talk about soil stewardship, planting with native plants and creating backyard wildlife habitats. You will receive the wire for a compost bin (like the one shown in the video) and a PLANT book with lots of information about composting and a comprehensive listing of native plants for your landscape. If you want to attend, you must call Lenny at Reedy Creek by 5pm on Friday 11/9. 704 598 8857. Its a fun class! Dress for the weather and bring a lunch!

Compost Video Part 2

This video starts one week after we built the compost pile in Part 1. It shows you the proper way to turn a compost pile and discusses some uses for compost in your garden, including compost tea! The video clearly shows how hot your compost pile can get. You can see the steam rising off of it as it turns. If you have any questions about making your own compost, please ask!

Setting up a compost pile

Fall is in the air and its time to decide what you are going to do with all those leaves in your yard. This video covers the basics of setting up a hot batch, or open bin, compost pile. Its a little long, but it was necessary to make sure you had all the information you will need to start your pile. (If you click on the click on the far right, the video window will be larger). Part 2 will cover turning the pile and uses for compost in your garden. For information about supplies, do’s and don’t’s please visit the “compost” page on the blog or post a question and I’ll try to help. Its very rewarding to make something right in your own backyard to improve the condition of your soil….and for free! or almost free, once you buy the supplies you need.