Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grow the Most With Compost

In my Landscape Design specifications I often prescribe a soil blend that includes organic compost, and having it be worked into the existing soil around the newly planted areas as a great way to ensure that the soil has good fertility and the new plants can draw ample nutrients from the soil, and may properly root in and thrive.  There is a world a difference that can be seen in landscapes that have had amended soils and compost blends worked into the plant beds.  However, there are some perennials that will thrive and show better form and flower in less fertile soils (i.e. Silver Mound Artemesia, Gold Moss Sedum, and Oenothera Primrose).  Here is a great resource for planning landscapes for "30 Tough Sites" in your plant selection.  (

I am not going to break down the process and benefit of composting here.  There are plenty of articles and information found elsewhere online about why and how you compost in your own back yard, i.e. here, here, here, and here.  So I won't give you "the dirt" here.  But we have a little compost operation going on in our back yard, where we take kitchen waste and mix it with our yard waste, we aerate and churn, and we are steadily creating our very own batch of compost. The bin is slowly getting filled up and it has become sort of a family project.

In fact, my daughter makes a point to lift up the bases on our back yard "wiffle ball field" in search of earthworms to be added to the compost bin on almost a daily basis.  She is 5 years old, and evidently is too young and precious to know that searching for and picking up worms (or most other bugs) is "gross" and might get you teased at school.  She is quite the little helper!

turning over 2nd base on the worm hunt.

found one!

got it!

the haul.

into the compost bin you go.

my cute little worm.

If you don't have a compost bin brewing in your back yard, you can refer to these sites for hauling your yard waste where they will turn them into compost.  Ramsey County, Hennepin County, Dakota County, Washington County, Scott County.

More Design...

Also, here are some more plans that I have been working on recently, one with a few variables in place to see if there are some options that are more appealing than others in terms of the extent of the design.  This one has limited access into the far back corner of the property behind the pool due to a septic drainage field.  Therefore, a row of boulders would be needed to level the access road into the back yard in order to move in the materials for the fireplace.  Otherwise, only a smaller machine could get back there and the fireplace would be slightly more limited.  However, it might lend an opportunity for a cool fire pit design right off of the pool deck for a slightly more rustic poolside fire pit/campfire grill feature.

There is a local company whom I have talked with on a couple of occasions creating these amazing campfire pit features that can easily be built with a modular block system wall.  I love these.  Maybe not with *all* of the features and add-ons, but I love the look, size, and usability of these features.  Check 'em out at  

All the best!


No comments:

Post a Comment