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Random thoughts for a short week

November 24, 2008

It’s really cold out in the mornings now, but there’s just a thin crust of ice atop the mulch. As soon as you dig below that, the soil’s still soft. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to plant your spring-flowering bulbs, this Friday would be a great day. Come on, do you really want to stand in line at the mall?

The Town of Culpeper has scheduled days where they’ll come out and suck up your leaves for you. Not at my house! If you feel like hanging onto your leaves for the winter will overwhelm you, take a couple passes over them with a mower. Last year, I filled my backyard with leaves and mulched them down to barely a couple wheelbarrow loads’ worth. Why give up that organic matter?

Speaking of breaking down organic matter, now is when your compost pile might start to slow down from the cooler temperatures. There are many commercially available products that promise to inoculate or jumpstart your pile, but I was raised to be cheap frugal. I swear by dry dog food as a compost booster. You don’t want the good stuff; go to the big box store and get the cheapest one they make. It should have corn meal, alfalfa meal, or some other meal as the top few ingredients. This is pure nitrogen, and by mixing dog food and sod in a big pile, I was able to break everything down in 2-3 months last winter.

I know I’ve said this before, but I think I might get  the compost bins 100% complete this weekend. I planned on working, but my fellow baker- who has been quite patient- has offered to come bang nails and finish this project so we can break ground on the oven. All work and no play, and all that jazz.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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