Composting in Winter

Posted by F&S

On our last blog posting, we showed you all of the spring-flowering bulbs that have been sprouting with the warm temperatures we’ve been having. As predicted, the temperatures have plummeted and it’s now really quite frigid outside. Good think Ryan, Wilmer, and the rest of the crew have been busy spreading composted mulch over all of the perennial beds.

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Sharkey!  Did we have another awful storm when I wasn't looking?  Why are there so many branches on the ground?

1 Sharkey! Did we have another awful storm when I wasn't looking? Why are there so many branches on the ground?

Francesca, a storm would leave tree branches in such neat piles!

2 Francesca, a storm would leave tree branches in such neat piles!

These branches are from December's Christmas trees!  Instead of putting them in the trash, Martha has them cut and placed on top of garden beds as a type of winter insulation.  Nothing is wasted around here!

3 These branches are from December's Christmas trees! Instead of putting them in the trash, Martha has them cut and placed on top of garden beds as a type of winter insulation. Nothing is wasted around here!

Plus, Ryan and Wilmer have been spreading mulch on top of all the garden beds.  A thick layer of this fluffy organic compost will protect all of those confused spring bulbs that have been sprouting.

4 Plus, Ryan and Wilmer have been spreading mulch on top of all the garden beds. A thick layer of this fluffy organic compost will protect all of those confused spring bulbs that have been sprouting.

In natural forests, fallen autumn leaves create a protective layer on the forest floor for all the wild plants.  But, we make our own organic composted mulch, which works great here at the farm.

5 In natural forests, fallen autumn leaves create a protective layer on the forest floor for all the wild plants. But, we make our own organic composted mulch, which works great here at the farm.

Composting is a fascinating subject!  I can smell each and every thing that went into this batch!  Francesca, let's go take a look at the gigantic compost piles!

6 Composting is a fascinating subject! I can smell each and every thing that went into this batch! Francesca, let's go take a look at the gigantic compost piles!

Sharkey, we certainly have enough composted mulch to keep us in business for quite some time!  I feel like I'm mountain climbing!

7 Sharkey, we certainly have enough composted mulch to keep us in business for quite some time! I feel like I'm mountain climbing!

These piles are a combination of ground up grass clippings, wood, and animal manure from the horses and donkeys.  Manure is especially good as fertilizer because it adds much needed nutrients, like nitrogen to the soil.

8 These piles are a combination of ground up grass clippings, wood, and animal manure from the horses and donkeys. Manure is especially good as fertilizer because it adds much needed nutrients, like nitrogen to the soil.

Ryan, you and Wilmer are doing an excellent job top dressing all of the gardens!  Everything looks great!

9 Ryan, you and Wilmer are doing an excellent job top dressing all of the gardens! Everything looks great!

But I'm glad you're not too busy to stop and give me a nice scratch!

10 But I'm glad you're not too busy to stop and give me a nice scratch!

A thick blanket of composted mulch makes the perennial beds look nice and neat and it's comforting to know that it really is a blanket to protect and nourish the plants beneath it.

11 A thick blanket of composted mulch makes the perennial beds look nice and neat and it's comforting to know that it really is a blanket to protect and nourish the plants beneath it.

Comments (13)

  • what a lovely blog post

  • Good Morning F & S

    So what you are telling me Franny is that you hiked up a moutain of horse and donkey poo? I hope you washed your paws good before going in the house. Mom gets manure delivered for her vegetable garden and until it's all blended in with the soil it sure does stink. I can't imagine what that big pile must smell like.

    I was sick over the weekend must of had a touch of the dog flu. Mom made me a special mix of ground beef and rice and I was able to keep that down. I just laid on mom's lap and watched football all weekend.

    Hey Basil sorry your Denver team lost I was cheering for them.

    Zoe

  • Good Morning F & S and cuttie GK,
    I glad to see you have your sweaters on since the temps have dropped. I don't need one because my fur is sooooo thick, but I know Zoe, like you, needs her sweater on these cold winter days. I can't wait till mom puts fresh mulch in the gardens. I just love to dig nice new holes in the nice new mulch. LOL Mom is looking for a mulch that I won't like so much.
    Well, tonight is the night... starting training with Lily again. Like I said there are three other dogs in the class, all little and all with big issues. All I can say is the better just stay away from me so I can pay attention to my teacher and make mom proud.
    Dad took me for a walk last night and I had a chance to meet and play with Colt, the new boarder collie, up the street. Mom stays clear of all dogs when she walks me cause I get a little excited and like to pull on the leash a bit. But I am going to work on that at class tonight. HAHA.
    Anyway, hope everyone has a great day. Oh,and one more thing. Remember my friend Lil B who is from Afgahnistan? Well, his soldier is starting his journey home. He should be home with Lil B by this time next week. We are all so happy :) There is going to be a fundraiser in Philadelphia in February. No Pet Left Behind is holding it and Lil B and his soldier and my mom are going to be going to help other dogs come home. If anyone is interested in donating or going to the event, just check out there web sight. There sure alot of soldiers who want to bring there BF home from war with them.
    Again, have a great great day to all!!!

    Chloe xx

  • F & S please remind Ryan not to put the mulch too close to the tree trunks.... the pictures look like the mulch is touching the trunks and that is way too close.... makes for problems.... would sure love to have some of that compose ....

  • Good morning girls,
    Going to the top of that compost pile was a good workout. That will keep your muscles in shape. The crew does a remarkable job. Not only do they have their regular chores to do but when storms or ice cause damage, they have that to contend with also.
    Well, I can't wait to hear updates. Did Zoe eat do anything she wasn't supposed to over the long weekend? Did Chloe do well at her classes? Did little Rebel get to watch football? How is everyone doing? Fill us in please.
    Love to all,
    Maddox

  • I remembered the term - root flare not to cover the root flare - as the "dirt dr" says.
    Trees too deep in the ground,
    an all to common problem, have two basic problems. When the trunk
    flare in under ground, it stays moist and doesn't breathe properly as
    bark is supposed to do. The soil too high on the trunk also often hides
    circling and girdling roots which choke the tree and drastically slow
    down growth.

  • Hey everybody!
    Wow girls, mulch is one of my favorite things! I love it when Papa comes home with a fresh truck load of that great smelling stuff!
    Hey Maddox, yes we watched football. It was a touch weekend for Papa....
    We had a big thunderstrom last night! Now it's getting cold & snow showers are on their way again. I'm wearing my new sweater to work today.
    Time to go!
    your pal,
    Rebel

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    It was a long weekend for me but it did have one bright spot in it. The girl that went with me to Virginia this summer spent the weekend with me. We had a lot of fun and a long walk. She loves to scratch my chest and I have to admit it, I love it too. My “sniffer” is really good so when the mulch comes out I have to leave. I can’t stand the smell of some of it. Now if Mommy used some donkey poo that wouldn’t be to bad. It was cool for a few days and now it’s warmer outside. That will cause some of my inner hair to come out; ecccchhh.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Ahhhhhh, I can just smell that wonderful compost! We have all the raked leaves from over 20 trees in our backyard piled on our property line and woods...yet over 20 years the pile never gets larger, the snow and deer lay there smashing them down...so compost is limited.

    F & S you guys are such great informers, we are always learning something (great idea about the Evergreen tree branches.)

    Zoe my dear I hope you feel better after the yummy meal mommie fixed you...get better right away!

    Maddox what a great thing to participate in 'No Pet Left Behind'...I will check out their website!

    a snowy, windy and very cold day today...yuck :-(

    delia & Kitty >^..^<

  • Hi Girl Friends &G.K., Thanks for sharing this important blog about covering those confused spring bulbs that were budding too early with that lovely compost! Now they will be protected from the freezing winter with lots of snow! Have you had any snow lately? We have had snow off and on since last Saturday and are supposed to get more snow through tomorrow. After that, we are supposed to get more rain. Not very pleasant outside right now-would love to have sunshine, but it's been full of pollution which isn't nice either. Oh well, just have to wait for spring I guess. Zoe, sure hope you are feeling better and hope all you buddies are well, also! Hope all of you have a great day and stay safe and warm! Love, Dudley Do Right XOXOXO+

  • Hello Ladies,
    Very late today getting on as I slept in--kind of an off day health wise, but Mom says the sun is up and it will be a good day. Whenever I sleep in past when Mom gets up, they know I am under the weather. I probably couldn't smell that mulch now if I wanted to as my sinuses are stuffed. Zoe, I hope you feel better. Chloe, it is exciting to think of Lil B and his soldier uniting soon and your Mama is so good to help with this cause. Do well in your classes. I too watched the football over the weekend, but as the paper said on Sunday, Over and Ouch for the Broncos. It was a rough night, but a promising year. Mom and Dad said Denver hasn't been this excited for football in many years--since that John Elway guy was quarterback. I am going to rest lots today. Cora Belle, how are you feeling? Resting also, I hope. Glad everyone is back and we are in the swing of things again. Mom is trying to loose her holiday weight, so, oh joy, she might be a little crankie. Have a great day all.
    Love & licks,
    Basil

  • So ladies I know how enterprising you two are and are often thinking about ways to make money. The compost pile is the perfect new biz opportunity. The three of you could sell a small portion of the compost pile. After all, that is Grade-A, organic, premium compost. MommyM has so much plus it's always being replenished. :wink:

    Zoe I hope you are feeling better today. Chloe, good luck in class tonight. I know you can be the star pupil. Basil, take it easy little buddy. Everyone have a lovely day. :smile:

  • ..no thoughts of compost here..just snow..used to like it last year when I could run thur it..this year a different story..it up to my chest...difficult walking..so James took the truck up and down the drive so i would have a clear path to walk on..Lotsa of animal tracks out there today..so it took me a long time to stop sniffing and actually get some exercise..I even ate some snow..hope Basil your day is going well and you are feling perkier..you, too Zoe, though you probably gobbled down some corn curls when no-one was looking..I cannot imagine going to a dog class..cattle dogs at least the ones I know are not big on schooling, but then we are farm/ranch dogs and have jobs to do ( or had jobs..I'm retired from the stock trade..meaning herding)..oh Basil, did you know the John Elway guy grew up in s.w. Washington? wish all war doggies could have come home..it is good people are finally doing something about it..past war doggies did not have such a chance..I salute all those brave war dogs...oh no..more snow is falling..I better take my meds and lay in the middle of the kitchen so everybody has to trip over me and then give me a treat..over out buddies, Cora-Belle p.s. Kitty, the feral cats are not liking the snow one bit...Lucinda shoveled them a little path to their food dishes in the various barns and sheds

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