Playing in the Dirt

Welcome to Colleen’s Corner. This is a column meant for fun and some information About myself: I am Colleen Fielding, a Freelance Photographer you often see me on the side of the road  or in various places taking photos of different things animals, birds, places, people etc.  l have lived in Lumby just over 8 years,you have seen my photos in the newspaper (Lumby Valley Times) and once in awhile in the Vernon Morning Star, and the Lumby Art Gallery. Photography is my passion. Disclaimer:  The information on some of my photos that I write about a lot of times come from the Internet or books I research them, hopefully the facts are as close to the truth as I can come.

I have five different flower gardens in my backyard, so when everything blooms at various times my backyard looks awesome. For years I had problems with one of the gardens, I called it the “dead garden” as nothing would hardly grow there. This was due partly to not so good dirt, and the cats in my neighbourhood using it as their personal bathroom. 

So, I started composting. I bought myself a little composter that I turn whenever I add things to it. I keep a smaller green kitchen composter in the house and when full I take my scraps out to the larger one outside. Fall is a great time to start to compost. In my composter I have added some cardboard, dirt, leaves from the trees, twigs, tree pruning’s, eggshells, coffee filters, bananas, etc. I am careful not to add meat, bones, onions, perennial weeds, diseased plants, corn cobs, and peach pits for some reason these two items are hard to compost, I also don’t add acidic items to my composter. 

There are many types of composters out there, some people even just make a big pile outside. 

When you compost be patient as it will take about a year to have the rich soil full of nutrients that will be great for your lawns, trees, and gardens whether it is vegetable or flowers.

Composting is not only good for your gardens, but great for the environment. 

When you compost after about 3-or 4 weeks your compost will start to cook, this will break down the items in the composter generating heat. With the help of a lot of turning (about once a week or so) the pile will start to shrink and become compact.  After about six months when the texture has the feeling and look of a sponge that you have wrung out, your dirt should be dark , crumbly, and smell like the earth. If it has all of this then hooray, you did a great job with your compost and it is now ready to be mixed into the gardens or dressed on your lawn, and around your trees. Now you have a beautiful lawn, nice growing trees, and awesome gardens.

 After years of replenishing with the composted earth my ” dead garden” now grows beautiful flowers in it. Unfortunately, the cats in my neighbourhood still use my gardens as their own personal bathroom, I am not sure how to stop that.

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