Winter Recession Garden: Indoor Composting

The start of the Winter Recession Garden is under way and I am pleased so far.  I have my pots washed, sterilized and I added sterilized soil to more small terra cotta pots.  I already have lettuce, spinach, onions and garlic growing.

And I have a cherry tomato plant hanging plant and strawberry hanging plant already growing and producing.

My next step is to add a few more vegetables and a few herbs. I have pots ready and I will grow these in a windowsill garden.

The herbs I grow are basil, chives, thyme and oregano. I start these from seed but I also want rosemary and sage. I think I will buy a plant for these herbs. It will give me the “instant big garden” look. And while I’m out buying herbs I’ll look for a lavendar plant.

I will be starting my pepper and tomato plants soon but I want to make compost and build a few raised bed planters for more planting room.

Tip: If you are planting tomatoes and peppers for outdoors you may wan to wait. I use a repotting method for tomatoes that gives me 3 foot producing tomatoes by May. It’s a bit of work so many people prefer to start plants in late March or April.

I also have a portable mini greenhouse to set up. That’s tomorrow project.

Making compost indoors.

I need a lot of compost to add to my potting soil for repotting and making hanging baskets so I make my own compost indoors. I am using the downstairs basement for my project. I have brought in two large plastic 55-gallon barrels. I placed 6 inches of pebbles in the bottom for drainage. I don’t have drainage holes in these barrels so I have to make sure I don’t add to much water to the compost. (All compost needed a little moisture to start to work.)

Next I have compost material I have saved. First I add about 9 inches of straw, 9 inches of shredded leaves, 9 inches of old sawdust that has broken down already. I will add 3 inches of fresh sawdust to help the pile work and top off the mix with a thin layer of peat. I will also dust the top layer with old rabbit manure.

And believe it or not, I am adding ½ can of coke to each compost barrel, which I will sprinkle on top of the mix. For some reason coke really helps break down a compost bin. In the summer months I would use the herbs comfrey, yarrow or add fresh grass clippings. And for a few days I will cover the barrels with clear plastic to hold in heat and moisture.

I can either let the compost containers sit like this for a week or stir it up to help it compost faster. For today it’s sitting. I will stir it up when I add kitchen table scraps. (Fresh vegetables, coffee grounds and eggshells only. No meat or grease items)

Uisng a composting method like this I can usually create good usable compost in two weeks.

I have a start on two working compost bins so I will sort through seeds to see what I can start in a few days and call my winter gardening quits for today.

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