Composting In the Garden

Composting in the GardenI was teaching a class in basic gardening the other day and was extolling the virtues of compost. I finished by saying “the single best thing you can do for your garden is to regularly add compost.” At that point, I noticed a woman looking at me in despair. “Is there something wrong?” I asked.

“Well,” she answered “You’ve convinced me it’s important, but I really don’t know how I’ll ever get around to it. I feel lucky that I manage to plant a few vegetables. When am I going to find time to make compost… let alone dig it into my garden?”

This busy gardener was relieved to know about my mother’s way of composting. Mom chose to skip the pile and all associated chores…she does her composting right in the garden.

Now you might not want to use this approach in a flower bed, but in vegetable and cutting gardens it makes a great deal of sense. With this method, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, fruit peels, egg shells and so on are put right in the garden and covered with soil.

During the growing season, the compost ingredients are buried in the footpaths, between plants, or in areas where early crops have finished. A shovel kept nearby makes it easy to dig tomorrow’s hole…using the soil to cover today’s deposit.

Earthworms and micro-organisms in the soil quickly break the kitchen scraps down. And there is no turning of the pile or transfer of compost from bin to garden.

So maybe my mother’s method would be right for your garden. Using this direct approach, adding organic matter to your soil doesn’t have to be time consuming.

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