I have a confession to make but please don’t tell anybody because I’m supposed to be one of those über-organic types who saves everything and crafts sweaters out of cat fur. I think, however, if I share this with my blog buddies I’ll probably feel a whole lot better. So here goes–

I hate composting.

There! I said it! Wow, I feel so much better already!!!*

All right, all right, let me step that back slightly: I don’t hate hate composting, I just suck at it. And not *all* composting, just the fancy-schmancy kind that demands combinations of food scraps in complicated proportions and thermometers and spinners and the hauling of wet stuff to and fro.

Oh, *that* kind of composting!

Right. You probably hate it, too. Or maybe you’re intimidated. I mean, I certainly was/still am. In fact, we currently own a lovely Canadian rotating composter whose main job is to sit in my yard and look pretty. We give it a whirl every once in a while but I’ve never been able to master the decay rates so that I have finished compost exactly when I need it. Because, boy, with a large yard and so much hungry soil to feed, I need lots and lots of rich organic matter to keep my homestead happy.

I love compost!!!

Ah ha! Voilà la diff! I love compost and other green manure (not to mention the ducks’ generous contribution!) since I love what it does for the soil but I’m not too keen on the conventional process of making it. So, today, on Blogger Action Day: Save the Soils, let me share my lazy gal’s tips for soil improvement:

1) Leaves Are A Gardener’s Best Friend: Don’t throw your autumn leaves away–rake that free fertilizer into your ornamental beds! Protect the soil during harsh winter weather and let the leaves feed it as they break down.

2) Grass Clippings are Green Manure: Don’t cut your lawn too short, water deeply but less often and when you do cut the grass, leave the clippings on top–a quick and free vitamin shot for the ground and the ground cover.

3) Grow Clover: A very easy, inexpensive way to enrich the quality of your soil and attract pollinators. An excellent cover crop, clover comes in varieties that do well even in poor soil.

4) Cut Back on Lawn: Do you really need that much grass? If you’re not using it, reduce that expensive, hard-to-maintain, low-quality moat and convert some of it to hardy perennials–either ornamentals or edibles. Or create a rain garden. Or plant low-water natives. The microbes will thank you by supporting both food and flowers!

5) Get a Duck: There’s nothing that improves soil faster than poultry. Or maybe I’m a tad biased.  😉 ***


But don’t just take my word for it!  Check out all the other bloggers celebrating International Year of Soils.  And stay tuned for more tips all year long!



The composter in question.



*Except that I just confessed this to the whole Internet.

**And the wild bees will thank you by pollinating your tomatoes. Win, buzz, win!

***In all honesty, poultry are *not* as easy as planting clover.


Copyright 2015, Lori Fontanes