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Thursday, August 6, 2009


While walking little Max this morning for his usual block walk we saw the Madison Co. school bus stop and pick up two children down on the corner. I did not realize they started back today. That can only mean that the season is going to slow down soon and the harvest will start drying up and heading toward the compost bin. And speaking of composting, you gardeners who are as I jokingly call "LITE GARDENERS", should try it for your own gardens. One doesn't need a "bin" as such to try composting but just a small, designated area in your own garden home and start piling up your garden waste, grass clippings, tea bags/coffee grounds, egg shells, leaf raking & any other garden refuse that will "DECOMPOSE" in the pile, thus the term "compost". You can contain it if you wish by using some old discarded fencing formed into a circle, some brick or blocks stacked up or make something called a "compost corral". I will add a video link to making compost corrals on the blog today. But I am very satisfied with my 3-bay compost bin. So you can add your own 1200-lbs of yearly waste to your garden instead of your local landfill.

I needed some leaf waste (brown) for my bin this week and after helping a neighbor clean up her yard, I brought a bag home and added it to my "cooking-off" left bay and after this week will "stir" the mixture. Remember though to add your waste in layers in which you have the raw product, leaf waste and then some soil. You can recycle from your finished pile for the soil. You can also go to WalMart (tm) and purchase a box of earthworms from the sporting goods center and dump them into the pile to start your break-down processes. I have a friend at my place of employment who has access to a family farm with a lot of cow manure and I am making another bin (next to my compost bin) as soon as I take up my temporary garden fencing on the back of my lot to add a manure pile. I will add that into my composting as well and then the finished pile will be fertilized as well as adding to the cooking off process.

So with fall really being one of our best seasons for compost additions I look forward to the end of the growing season with anticipation of the rebirth of this garden home from the outlook of a Tennessee Certified Master Gardener aspect after completing my internship this fall at UTREC and my subsequent certification. I aspire to have the best garden in Jackson or at least on my street anyway! And again remember your daily gardening affirmation for today: 1. Soil preparation - dig into your soul (soil), 2. Plant seeds - do a service for others, 3. Feed & Water - nurture your friendships and relationships, 4. Harvest - Enjoy your abundant life of love and giving to others and they will return the love especially when you need it most!


  1. What about tilling the garden under as it finishes producing. I pulled some of my squash today (almost no roots left at all), and composted it, but would it hurt to just till it under and let it compost "on site"?

  2. David, I think one could easily just do some what one might term "growth tilling", where you just till everything under as it finishes producing. Just remember to remove all wire, strapping, ties, string, etc. used as supports before starting the tiller or you might have a repair job on your tiller due. But yes, this early in the end of the season if you are finished basically and have all you want from your harvest, certainly go ahead and till in now. You might also go ahead and add any fresh maunure you can get your hands on and also a little extra lime now as well. Till in really good and then add any other leaf mold or other materials that will add some lightness to the soil. I believe you are in Giles CO, TN and you might have some issues with a little hard pack red dirt there as well and need the lightening up. Unless being by water you have some sand in which you definitely still need some leaf mold but some heavier soils as well. Happy tilling my brother!