The Virtues of Compost Gardening

I’ve been composting for a number of years now. Originally I had a large cylindrical bin with a removable lid. This worked well for a while, but eventually the bin got old and started to pull apart at the seams. After several attempts to repair it, I finally decided to remove the outer casing in May of this year. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was tired of the old arrangement.

Within less than a month, I noticed small seedlings in the compost. I had put food scraps in it, including tomatoes, peppers, and squash, so I wasn’t too surprised. What surprised me, though, was how quickly these seedlings took hold and matured. After a month of watching from the sidelines, I started to intervene, reducing the number of seedlings so they wouldn’t choke each other out. But I didn’t think any of them would survive.

Now, after three months of daily watering and occasional weeding but not much else, I have four robust tomato plants with numerous blooms, two pepper plants with small buds, and two squash plants. Considering I’ve added no plant food to the nutrient-deficient soil other than the chicken bones from my food scraps, this is something of a minor miracle.

Of course I could have gotten far more out of these plants if I had propagated them from seed much earlier in the year. That would have been ideal.

But if you knew how difficult it is to grow plants of any sort in the soil around here, you would understand how much of an accomplishment this is. And it all goes back to compost.

Mark All My Words is an entirely non-profit venture that receives absolutely no money from advertising, sponsorships, corporations, or government. As such, the only money keeping it afloat comes from patrons and fans like you, who want to ensure that original nature photojournalism has a place on the internet in the future.

At present, however, the amount of money coming into this site amounts to $0.22/hour — which is roughly 3% of the minimum wage. So if you believe that hard-working professionals deserve to be paid more than starvation wages for their work, please head over to the Patreon campaign for Mark All My Words and become a patron today.

If you’re not in a position to contribute financially, however, the next best thing you can do is to share this article on social media by using the share buttons below. And to those of you who’ve done either of the above, thank you.


5 thoughts on “The Virtues of Compost Gardening

  1. Great post! I got a sweet potato and russet potato plant out of my compost earlier this year. I also just read about New Stone Age people (p. 12 n Weeds in the Urban Landscape), where they started cultivating plants from their refuse heaps, which were basically compost piles.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s