Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spreading It On Pretty Thick

I sift my compost into a large bucket and
I use a shovel to spread it on thick.
 Here’s a quick list of things I like to spread on pretty thick:

  • frosting
  • Nutella
  • cheese
  • sarcasm and
  • compost 
Unfortunately, only one of those things is really good for me though.  I could argue that sarcasm is good for me but as a college buddy used to say, “Sarcasm is the devil’s tool against intimacy.”  And I think he was serious.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell if someone is being sarcastic.

While I love frosting of all kinds on all kinds of things and Nutella is the spread of the Gods, I’m trying to keep my waistline in check.  So instead of slathering up a graham cracker with butter cream frosting yesterday I decided to remove myself from temptation and instead check on my compost. 

It’s mid-July so there’s not a lot for me to do in the garden except make sure things are watered and the sprinklers are all working; wage war on my weeds; deadhead flowers; pick strawberries, tomatoes, and zucchini; consult with arborists; battle more weeds, patch rusty gutters; mow and edge the lawn; knock down the spider webs around the front door; cast dirty looks at the neighbor that refuses to do anything with his weed farm; research new stepping stone options; and smell the roses.  When I said there wasn’t much to do in the garden, was I being sarcastic?  Pretty much everything I can do in the garden should be done this time of year except the most fun thing which is, of course, putting in new plants.  
My "Biostack" composter.  It's not pretty, but it comes in pieces that you can stack on top of each other.  I have
two of these so, in theory, my compost bin could be twice this tall but that would make turning it a real chore.
But is July the right time to spread compost? Is there a wrong time to spread compost? I’m sure there are better times to do it (like before you put down 2-4 inches of mulch in the spring) but my compost is mostly ready now and, believe it or not, it won’t be that long before autumn’s leaves start falling and I start filling up my Biostack composter. So I wanted to make some room now.

My compost bin is right next to a sitting area.  Soon the black bamboo in the wine barrel should do a better job screening it.
So if I can’t buy new plants the least I can do is treat the plants I do have with an indulgent snack of black gold.  Compost has to be the plant kingdom’s version of chocolate frosting only with more nutrients.

My composter is in plain sight throughout most of my "back garden" but I've tried to use plants to screen the view some.
Pulling back a few feet, it's hard to see the composter at all from this vantage point along the pathway.


  1. Your mulch looks positively delicious, and your back garden is quite beautiful. I think you are doing a great job of screening the composter. I don't do much in my garden during the summer either..ha, ha!

  2. impressed with your compost - despite all efforts mine still goes on in a somewaht smelly goo

  3. I need a composter for a small space and yours looks like it would work. There is no wrong time to spread compost. I spread several hundred pounds of it in the fall before I mulch and make worm compost all year. I think you've done a good job of screening it. Nutella is a food group at our house. Excellent spread on the tip of a banana before each bite. :o)

    1. I really like Nutella with strawberries too! It is mind-bogglingly delicious.

      My particular type of composter really works best if you have space for two of them. The idea is that instead of turning the compost you can take the lid and top row off and start a new pile next to it by shoveling stuff from the first bin into the next bin - therby turning and aerating the pile without too much effort. But I don't have that kind of space so I do it the old-fashioned way, I guess.

  4. Yum! Nutella my favorite. Its best to use as a bread spread. Its quite delicious.