Compost 911! One Weed at a Time Edition

One weed at a time is how you change the world.

You know you need to. Some days you feel like you grow more weeds than vegetables. You are ashamed to go out into the backyard. You are not ever going to let your friends see your garden no matter how many times they ask.

We feel your pain. Been there. Done that. Bought the T-shirt.

After all We suffer so you don’t have to™ is our motto here at BE.

We have a solution to all your biggest garden woes.

Did I mention that you would get fertilizer and compost from the process? Why are you still sitting there? Let’s get on it, and make it painless and fun at the same time.

Pull your weeds. Use your soil knife/hori hori. We have used this stainless steel one for more than a decade. More on that in another post.

 

 

Put the weeds in a plastic bucket. Yes, a positive use for plastic. You saw it here first on BE.

Add water till the weeds are covered. The bucket can be a two gallon mop bucket, a 5 gallon pickle bucket, or a plastic 50 gallon trash can. You just need to be able to fit all your weeds inside.

No lid. You want the gasses to escape. A lid will turn the process anaerobic. A lid will create a stinky mess. Really bad idea. Let it go. Seriously, No lid.

Stir occasionally with the handle of an old tool. I personally use a repurposed 50 gallon trash can and an old mop handle for stirring. The contents will ferment a bit.

You can speed the fermentation up by adding coffee grounds. Ask your local coffee shop for a bagful. The coffee grounds have the added virtue of making it smell nice too. You can’t add too many coffee grounds. If you need a bigger bucket then go for it.

Pro Tip: When you stir, make sure you are agitating the decomposing wad of plant material on the bottom enough that is is temporarily suspended in the water.

Add water to make up for any evaporation losses. You will know it is done when the weeds can’t be identified anymore. Then you can safely use the water as fertilizer and add any solids to the compost pile.

The fermentation keeps the weed seeds from being viable. Same same for any diseases or pests. Throw in the trimmings from non weed plants like your fruit trees, your vegetables, and your berry plants. Fermentation rocks.

You can put in scary stuff. All that stuff someone very authoritatively told you not to put in compost. Put it in. The fermentation will take care of it. That too. Yes, Just do it.

You just made Weed Tea. Remember that the Tea is for your plants to drink, not for you. Now that is making lemonade from lemons. Or maybe I am mixing my metaphors.

Cut the liquid in half with water. You can use a watering can (pun!) to apply it right where it needs to go.

Or you can add wood chips. The wood chips will soak up the liquid. Use the wetted chips as mulch or add them to your standard compost pile. This is why I like using a large container. It gives me room for alternatives.

Repeat the process anytime you have a fresh batch of weeds or diseased or pest ridden trimmings from the garden.

Backyard Ecosystem: Saving the world one weed at a time.

Compost 911!  is an ongoing series.

-Kevin

 

We would love to hear from you in the comments section below. Feel free to ask questions, ask for new areas to be covered, or just share your own experiences. Please read the comment guidelines closely before you comment.

Using the links in this article helps to keep Backyard Ecosystem up and running as a resource for you. It does not change your price for anything you purchase.

Anything you purchase after using a link will help support the website. Thank you in advance.

This is an ad free website, your purchases through the Amazon affiliate links help keep it that way.

Stop Killing Yourself and Your Soil. Debunking Double Digging. Compost Myth-busting Returns!

Double Digging, Intensive Gardening, French Bio-intensive, whatever current buzzword is trotted out to sell the latest gardening book. The most sacred of sacred cows. And a complete waste of your time and effort. Compost Myth-busting returns! Digging and especially Double Digging (turning the soil completely over) is a backbreaking waste of time. Digging destroys the delicate soil structure which…

Dreams of Spring

There is something which happens to us mid-January. Almost a form of insanity which creeps into our lives, specifically mine.  The moment the first Seeds of Change catalog comes in the mail. The Winter ritual of perusing seed catalogs and planning of the beds begins. Dreaming of the perfect garden. Exotic vegetables, fruit, and berries filling…

You Can Be Open and Giving and Sharing or You Can Be a Complete Tool ™ and Hire a Lawyer

I could barely sleep last night because of this. Manifesto alert, proceed at your own risk. Everything we post about here on Backyard Ecosystem. Everything underlying the movement toward greening our cites over the last several decades. The very title of the excellent book written by Erik and Kelly over at the blog formerly known as Homegrown…

Winter Gardening Indoors

We love having plants indoors, especially vegetables. They make the indoors a refuge in the darker winter months and whet the appetite for outdoor gardening in the spring. A lot of indoor greenery definitely improve our mood in the bleak, frozen winter. Beyond just starting seedlings indoors, there are several things we grow strictly indoors or longer term in pots…

About

Backyard Ecosystem began as an expression of my determination to make a difference in our own backyard. Literally and metaphorically making a difference at the micro level of my yard and to operate at macro level of treating the entire planet as something I am an integral part of and whose destiny is shaped everyday by what I do in my corner of the world.

Read More About Us