Saturday, October 13, 2012

Clearing the peony bed

It is the time of year to clear out the peony stalks and put them in the trash (you're not supposed to compost them). After clearing out the stalks and weeds, I added a bushel of compost from the Earth Machine (bottom of bottom picture). Yes, there is one weed left; it has nice flowers and I have a soft spot for weeds with nice flowers.

The bushel of compost represents about 20% of the capacity of the Earth Machine and maybe a year's worth of kitchen scraps and some lawn clippings. I don't put a lot of lawn clippings in because I'm trying to maintain a balance between the green and the brown. To keep the compost bucket clean, we sometimes put paper towels in the bottom and they compost nicely.

One thing that doesn't compost at all are the labels on fruits and vegetables because most of them are made of plastic. I recommend that you remove all the labels before composting.

We bought the Earth Machine from the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District several years ago. The other recycling container we bought from Lowe's and we use it only for yard waste. Lowe's doesn't seem to sell it any more maybe because it's so inexpensive (just a piece of plastic with holes in it and six sticks).

The peonies are heirloom and over 40 years old. I'll post about them in the spring when they're in full bloom.

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