Yesterday’s weather was in the forties for a first time in ages. I don’t think it’s been that warm yet in 2009. So, of course, I took a walk around the yard and visited the garden.
Since the yard is still mostly covered in snow, there’s not a lot to see. And there really isn’t anything going on in the compost bins.
These leaves have compacted down quite a bit. In the fall, the bins were filled to the top but as you can see now, we’re about half full. Even though there isn’t a lot of microbial activity in the pile when it’s freezing out, I think the cold temperature does help in breaking down the leaves structure. The constant freeze-thaw cycle that goes on all through the winter has got to help.
Once the weather warms up in a few months, I’m going to have to go crazy with the greens to get these piles cooking. They’re almost 100% leaves. Some good sources of greens are used coffee grinds and vegetable scraps. Another good way to get a leaf pile cooking is with blood meal. Blood meal is one of the highest sources of nitrogen that you can find in a non-synthetic fertilizer.
I’ll probably skip the blood meal though. I drink way too much coffee, so finding enough greens is never really a problem.