Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

November 13, 2007

Compost Day

Thought I'd spend a little time on compost today, there were a couple of things that I'd cover. For one, I learned recently of a program that Starbucks Coffee has in place. It's called Grounds for your Garden and it's something they put in place to help take care of the some of there coffee grounds waste. All you need to do is go into you're local Starbucks store and ask for their old grounds for your garden and you will get one of their old bean bags filled with used grounds.

Now, what do you do with them? I'm putting mine into my compost pile, of course. With the nitrogen to carbon ration that they have, mixed with a healthy bit of carbon rich browns, in this case straw, I should be able to kick up the heat in my pile and help it to break down faster and more completely.

If any of you are new to composting, or are thinking about getting a pile started, which I heartily encourage, then one thing I have learned is that getting the pile "cooking" is one of the most important things you can do. Getting the heat turned up inside your pile cooks the seeds, sterilizing them. It also helps the organic material inside the pile break down more completely and more quickly. Getting this heat turned up comes from having a good balance of greens and browns, nitrogen rich plant material and carbon rich dr material such as dry leaves, straw, or dried grass clippings. So far I have found straw to be the most consisent material that is easily gotten in my area. When you have this mix in the right proportions you'll need to turn the pile regularly to make sure the organisms in the pile can breath and make sure it stays moist. Not wet, but moist.
Once you have all this in line, you'll be sure to have your pile cooking like a pro. In the little video I made, you can pretty easily see that there's steam coming up out of the pile, this is a sure sign you're on the right track. I hope to cook this pile pretty well through the rest of the fall and into the winter and then finish it off in time for spring planting. If you haven't cleaned out the garden yet, or can still get a last mowing of the lawn, I encourage you to get those greens and some good dry browns together and get cookin'!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I've just found your blog through Down-To-Earth and it looks very interesting! About adding coffee grounds to compost - does this work? I was told they don't break down well and so don't add them to my heap. If my info was wrong, I'll be drinking a lot more 'real' coffee in future! btw I'm bookmarking your blog

P~ said...

Beth, glad to have you here! Yes they do break down in my experience. Everything that I have read encourages me to use them. I have also read that they can be added in measured amounts as a top dressing to acid loving plants and veggies. Drink up I say!

Anonymous said...

Over the last year I have been experimenting and used approx. 3,000 lbs. of Starbucks coffee grounds on a 3,000 sq. ft. organic garden. In conjunction with other organic fertilizers including compost and mulch we had success in spite of late frosts, extreme heat and lack of rain in the most difficult growing season I've ever known in the last 35 years.
I also use the grounds on ornamentals and houseplants.
I think I will continue to use them in quantity.

P~ said...

Anonymous, I assume your a different anonymous than the first one. Thanks so much for your insight. I can only hope it will benefit my humble organic garden as much. Hope you'll stop by again.