Monday, December 6, 2021

 December In The Garden

The leaves continue to fall here and the days have become cold and dreary. Thanksgiving  was enjoyed by all and the turkey is a distant memory. The children and grandchildren have all returned home and life has resumed here in Hickery Holler. 

We continue to work on the warmer days though in the gardens. We mow the leaves to chop them and small 3 X 3 compost piles have begun springing up in the beds and boxes. Never waste a resource. As we mow and chop the leaves the bags are mixed with bedding from the duck and chicken house, kitchen scraps, newspaper, cardboard and anything else that will compost. As the piles are built we cover them with blue tarps to hold in the warmth after wetting them down. On warmer days we venture out and turn them when the mood hits us. By spring they will be rotted down enough to spread them in the beds and lightly fork them in where necessary. 

By doing this yearly we add fertility to the soil in the beds and boxes and improve soil structure. After years it really makes a difference in the soil. I produce a great deal of food in a somewhat small space and this helps keep the soil in top condition and producing. Not to mention it helps keep all this out of burn piles and landfills. The organic matter helps the soil to hold moisture and it also improves fertility.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


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  1. Have you ever had any problems with "critters" getting into your compost piles? I have raccoons and possums here and I am afraid of them getting into the compost piles, if I start some. I want to start making my own compost, but wondering how to deal with the critters if I do. Any help from anyone is appreciated. Thanks!


  2. I live in the country and those critters are there anyway. I keep my piles away from the house so if they do it doesn't hurt anything. I do see the occasional mouse after the wheat seed in the straw, I have a big king snake that lays her eggs in my compost every year. I also have seen the occasional big wood rat in the piles. They are attracted to the warmth I think more than anything and looking for a warm place to sleep in the winter.

    1. Thanks! Now that I know it doesn't matter if they get into it, I will start those piles and I was planning on making them away from the house anyways. So it will work out fine. I had heard you had to keep a compost confined from animals, like in a drum or a big plastic cube. Glad to know I can just leave it in piles and not worry who visits it.

  3. Many things will visit your piles while they decompose and after just as nature intended. Insects and grubs are a regular. Many times I will see skinks and toads there feeding off the insects and grubs. Snakes are drawn to the warmth as are many other mammals looking for warmth including mice and rats. Just be careful when you remove the tarps covering so as not to get any surprises.


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