Composting Tip

Here’s your common sense tip for the day: When composting, it is important to mix up the materials every now and then to help everything break down properly.

This is what your compost bin will look like if you don’t turn it over.

I’m so ashamed.

You’ll never guess what happened. Everything with seeds that I tossed in there… they grew. Along with a lot of weeds. Go figure.

Although, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my case! See these beautiful tomatoes peaking out from among the chaos?? Yep. I’ll take that. And there’s a bunch of them.

These guys are looking so much better than the ones I actually meant to plant. See how funky my other tomatoes are looking? What the heck is up with that?! How do you even eat a tomato like this?? I’m thinking I need to start composting directly in my raised beds next time around. You know, cut out the middle man.

Keeping the volunteer plants in the compost bin means I can’t use it again until everything is done producing.

But that’s okay. I’m cool with that.

If you actually plan on using the compost you are working so hard to create… turn it over periodically. Otherwise, it’ll quickly turn into the best weed growing corner of your garden.

18 thoughts on “Composting Tip”

  1. We top compost in the off season and always have random things sprout up that we either just yank or have to identify.

  2. Ok, maybe this will help. I’ve seen a post, I’m sure you could google it, about a trash can that you drill some holes in, add some dirt, then use it for composting. You just have to roll it around the house once a week or so to keep the contents turned up. Good luck finding that, but I hope it helps someone.

  3. This would make a great title for your first gardening book someday…

    The Accidental Tomato

    I love the surprises that show up from my compost. Two tomato plants and one melon this year. Enjoy them the most…no work tomatos!

  4. Ruth Stout actually wrote a book about composting directly onto your garden. Here’s a link to the book:

    I couldn’t believe how much the book still is. I actually got a hold of a copy of it from my dad. He’s not a gardener but he’s a book collector of all kinds. He’s never even read the book. Everything that I have read so far makes total sense.

  5. We have the most awesome squash plants growing in our compost pile this year! I’ve never seen squash plants as big and beautiful as these…go figure with all that super-nutritious compost they’re growing in! Some of them look like ones we ate in the past year, others are mystery squashes that cross-pollinated. But they are all very yummy! Hey, free food! I won’t complain 🙂

  6. There is this spinning bin thing you can buy you put the compost in and turn it everyday then it will get more mixed. Also, adding chamomile, comfrey and/or yarrow leaves will speed up composition.

  7. Well, your composting bin has shown us all that nutrient rich soil is a plant’s best friend! Wasn’t this your first or second year gardening in your raised beds? After it’s all done, this fall, I’d work every bit of that into your raised beds and let it sit all winter. Just imagine how it will work for you in the spring when you plant again! Mine seems to be much more dry and brown; not growing anything! No surprise it’s dry since I live in a dry climate. I need to remember to water mine more often and try turning it. (I’m a very lazy composter!)

  8. Like CJ, my chicken yard is my compost bin. Almost every food scrap in the house goes there. If I have a doubt, I google to make sure it won’t harm my Laying Ladies but havent’ found much they won’t attempt to eat or at least scratch up until it turns back into dirt.

    Lately Ruth Stout’s No Dig/No Work method has helped me lighten my load: Joanne Brown does a great job explaining Ruth Stout’s way and a few interesting biographical tidbits, too, in her article Ruth Stout, Gardening Gadfly.

  9. I wish mine looked like this! It’s too dang dry up here – unless I water it regularly, it just ceases to function. Guess that’s a good reminder to get some goat/chicken poo from my Mom… maybe with some TLC, the compost will be ready to mix into the garden beds come fall!

  10. HaHaHa…same thing happened to mine!We built ours near the wild blackberries and they have totally taken over the compost pile. But, the fruits were so prolific growing there (go figure) that I let them have it for this year!

  11. We have stray tomatoes in our compost too.

    Our other tomatoes look good, but other than the small ones, they are taking a long time to ripen and we have had the heat this summer.

    It’s all a learning process.


  12. Yeah….mine looks about like that too. I think if I were to plant in my compost pile the plants would be in heaven. I need to rethink the whole compost pile in general so it would be more beneficial.

    I grew Black Krim tomatoes this year- they have all grown up all mangled like that. I just cut around it if I can, wasting a bunch. Not good for slicing, but still good for eating.

  13. I use my chicken house/yard as the compost heap. That way they keep it turned over with their scratching and dust baths and they eat many of the seeds that would try to grow.

  14. We always have a few strays in our compost too…usually potatoes and onions…oh and melons too…it seems to be on the last of the “to do” list. My husband usually uses the tiller to till up the compost it is too heavy for me to turn usually…That is a funny looking tomato maybe make it into juice.

  15. It’s funny, I actually got everything I need to make my compost bins back in June but haven’t done anything yet cause I’m afraid that mine will end up just the same. Well that and the fact that I’m afraid it will attract tons of flies. The chickens are already doing a good enough job at that! Anywho, I read this article the other day and think I’m totally gonna try it out. Especially since we have a large lawn which we mow weekly. Love that you only to let it sit for 30 day or so too! Plus it’s a closes system so I’m not worried about flies. Good luck with your compost adventures!


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