WE GET LETTERS . . . This one is from a youngster named "Kelly" who is using our friend, Miguel's page for her school research project! While poking around looking for more good stuff, she bumped into a page she wanted to share with others who might like this information. So, I'm sharing her teacher, Sue Barker's, nice note about Kelly and the excellent resource page linked below. Please make sure you get out and get your hands DIRTY this spring and summer! There's nothing more fun than playing in the mud and then watching the flowers and vegetables grow! Thanks, Sue and Kelly for writing!
xox! Sharon Fernandez, President, VDZ 2016
I wanted to send you a quick 'thank you' for your webpage - http://vandykezinnias.co/mastergardenernotebook/compostingresources.html. I am a mentor with a group of students at an after school program, and we've been using your page as a resource to learn more about composting. They've taken quite an interest in it - thank you for your helpful information and ideas!
Would you mind including the article on your page for me? Kelly would be happy to see that you liked her idea and is helpful for others! Let us know if you get the chance to update, and thanks again for the great page!
Horses make good compost, but their poop can contain weed seed! OH NO!
Instead of horse manure, Van Dyke Zinnias uses bunny poop from our Norwegian Lionhead rabbits as they can take the Michigan cold in winter and make lots of little poops for the many flowers growing here.
I have 2 big Belgian/Thoroughbred mares producing large amounts of a great composting mix of manure, urine and hay, which we mound and turn with the front loader of our Kubota tractor to make the superb compost we use in all of our planting, either mixed with sand to attain drainage which we use in pots and for starting trees, or topped with potting soil in vegetable raised beds, or 100% in exterior raised planter beds with Cannas and Day lilies.
However, most of you so not have such conditions and I will give you an easy and CHEAP way to take care of composting, which is the gardener's best and economical helper, since it uses waste to reduce cost of producing plants, instead of paying to remove it.
Depending on your amount of waste, buy fencing roll of 4" squares x 4' high in 16 foot length multipliers. Buy a 50 roll, which will give you 3 rolls. Carefully measure 16 ft length and cut the next 4: square right next to the next square all way down, which will give you a square end on one side and 4 inch pins at the other end. Bring both ends together and fold the 2" pins over the square end to lock both ends, creating a circular basket, opened at both ends. Do the next lengths the same way until you have 3 baskets. Place the compost baskets over a sunny area that will drain, where you can keep it moist, NOT WET, and start filling basket # 1 by throwing, leaves, grass cuttings, kitchen vegetable scraps, shredded papers, manure from herbivorous animals (no cat or dog) until you fill it.
Nature does not turn its own compost so you won't have to. Then go do the same thing with basket #2 and the with basket #3. By the time basket # 3 is getting half way full, Basket # 1 should be composted and you open the basket (or lift it with an assistant) and start using the compost by raking it out from the bottom, allowing the mound to gently drop down inwards. Then Basket #1 becomes basket #3, Basket #3 becomes #2 and #2 becomes #1 and the rotation of composting goes on.
By the way, you can use the same system of 4 (or 6") squares to cage tomatoes, or cucumbers and squash, holding them down with rods to prevent wind damage. This is what I saw used at the Rodale Center farm, and I plan to use in certain instances, particularly in plant tests.
Note to Self:Whenever you want to do Internet research of a subject in gardening, be it composting, pests, insecticides, weed killers, vole control, bee keeping, etc. add "/edu" at the end. By doing this you will get only the result of research done by agricultural researchers at universities, which are unbiased and done by incredibly knowledgeable people. Example: Composting/edu, or, if you want research from a particular university: Composting.DSU/edu. for Delaware State University.
Hereunder is a commercial advertising of composting literature you can get on plain Goggle research, I will send you what you can get using /edu
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