Saturday, August 14, 2010

Harvesting Tomatoes, Fall Planting Progress, and Composting Info.

I picked 54 tomatoes weighing just over 20 pounds, so I decided to can them. I ended up with 11 quarts of canned tomatoes. This supply of cooking tomatoes will really be appreciated when the tomato season is gone.

In my blog post of August 11th, the pictures showed where I had planted butter beans and snap beans. Well just five days later, they are germinating at a rapid pace. Here is a shot of the butter beans.

Here are the snap beans coming in under the fencelines. They are a little slower to germinate than the butter beans, so they're not all up yet.

I've thoroughly tilled the back plot and I'm going to spread cured compost all over it, and then till that into the soil. This is like a big experiment for me. Last fall, I had planted annual rye on my lawn for the sole purpose of "harvesting" it for my compost pile. In the winter months, it is hard to find green nitrogen-rich material for accelerating the composting process, so I decided to grow my own. I chose to sow annual rye on my lawn because it is a one time crop and doesn't go to seed, so I won't have to be concerned with grass seed going into my compost pile. Along with the grass clippings from my lawn, I had many bags of leaves that I had picked up in my neighborhood, and had stored them for use during the composting process. I also had some pine straw, and although some folks say that it raises the alkalinity of the compost, that is now under new scrutiny. The new thought on pine straw is that it really doesn't change the alkalinity that much, if at all. Either way you choose to look at it, I don't use a lot of it in my compost anyway.

Now for the main ingredient: coffee grounds from the Starbucks in downtown Portsmouth! From the 1st of January to the 10th of April, I collected the coffee grounds from Starbucks in downtown Portsmouth. I use my Excel Spreadsheets to track vegetable garden information, so I also kept track of what I put into my composting enclosure. During that time, I had added 2,047 pounds of coffee grounds including paper filters to my compost. Over one ton! The total weight of everything that went into my compost area was 2,852.5 pounds of compostable materials. All the weights of the empty plastic bags were deducted from this total. This picture shows what that pile of compostable materials looks like now.

Thanks to Starbucks for sharing with their neighbors!

It's time for me to apply that compost to the garden, so I'll say goodbye and good gardening for now.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Veggie PAK

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