Black gold

Full-fledged compost, made by little ol’ me

I don’t have a green thumb. I’m very slowly developing one, but right now my thumb is only a very light, barely there, shade of green. We moved into this house in ’00 and focused on things other than the yard. The following year, we put our energies into planning a wedding, again ignoring the yard. But two weeks after the ceremony I lost my job and found myself staring at a grassy area full of dandelions. I guess that’s when the gardening bug kicked in.

I love plants, flowers, trees, landscaping, decorative stepping stones, creative edging…the whole bit. It’s just that I’m still at the point of discovery. I’m still trying to figure it all out. When do I prune back my weigelas? At what time of year can I move plants out of my overcrowded bed? Can I put an azalea in my side yard by the fence, or will it get too much sun?

So when I took interest in composting last year, I wasn’t quite sure where it would lead. I leaped in and purchased a fairly affordable composter, set it up in the yard, read the book that came with it and gleaned enough information to assume I was going to fail miserably.

Honestly, there’s this whole theory on the volume of organic ingredients you need to combine with the nitrogen-based ingredients. On top of that, you have to make sure the mixture has enough water, that you turn the pile often and that it gets hot enough. Egads. It sounded hard I tell ya. So I just threw a bunch of junk in there last fall, watered it once, left the lid open and just ignored it over the winter. My thought was I’d have to figure out what to do with it come spring.

Well, spring is here. And so is my compost! I dug through it yesterday to see where I stood and discovered that all of the odds and ends I’d piled in there had broken down. I actually have decent soil, of my own careless making, to dump into my new garden this year. Hooray and all that jazz. I think my thumb turned a slightly darker shade of green through simple dumb luck.