Pumpkin seedling staying warm in the straw
That was easy!
The pumpkins are in. They’re lush, plentiful and thriving. In case you’re wondering about my mad gardening skills, you can sum them up in one word: compost.
I didn’t add compost to make them grow; instead they grew in the compost. I’m new to composting, and like any convert, I can’t say enough about the process (fun) and the end results (see photos, below).
When my nifty, thrifty, spinning composter reached capacity, I searched for alternatives. I re-purposed an old Rubbermaid bin, once used for children’s toys. I tossed in the straw left over from our Halloween party, then dry leaves, grass clippings and kitchen waste. I popped on the lid, drilled holes in the bottom for air circulation and drainage, and called it a day. Turning the compost was the biggest challenge. It was hard to get leverage in a narrow, small bin but I managed. About a month ago, I removed the lid and saw this: tiny pumpkin sprouts. Awe-some!!!
Figuring I would transplant the seedlings when the weather warmed up, I simply returned the lid. I left it open just a crack for more light.
Then this happened:
Rich compost = happy pumpkins!
Out of the compost and into the planting bed
Success! Pumpkins thrive in raised bed
Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with all those pumpkin seeds I saved from last year! Any takers?
Have you found any surprises in your garden this year?
Though San José is known globally as part of Silicon Valley, we have greener reasons to be proud. According to Bright Green San Jose, our city recycles 71 percent of the waste we generate. Wow! Further:
San Jose’s collective recycling helped the Recycle Plus program win the 2012 Green City Award from the national magazine Waste and Recycling News. The award honored San José for having the most effective residential program for a large city in the United States.
One of the programs San José offers is composting workshops and bin sales. I just started composting yard waste and kitchen scraps this year. Our yard is small, and packed with plants and flowers with limited space for growing veggies. I assumed composting required a lot of space and full sun. I purchased a Tumbling Composter earlier this year, which allowed me to compost kitchen scraps in a small space, diverting them from our landfill.
The tumbler filled quickly, so I started a second bin using an old Rubbermaid storage box. Now that’s full, too. You can’t rush compost, so while I wait for nature to rot its course, I’m pondering my next move.
You know what’s funny? I used to toss kitchen scraps or put them down the garbage disposal. Now that I’m composting, throwing out the food waste feels wrong.
I’ve decided to attend one of San José’s free Backyard Composting Workshops to pick up some additional tips. The first workshop is March 27th, 2013. They also sell Wriggly Ranch worm bins and Soil Saver compost bins at a steep discount.
In the meantime, any tips on composting in small spaces are welcome. My counter top bin is filling rapidly, and those coffee grounds and pepper cores need a place to call home.