Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ultra Low Input Compost

About 2 years ago we used a sod cutter to turn our lawn into a garden and, in the process, created a huge pile of rolled-up sod bundles. We occasionally wondered if the sod cutter was the best decision and, tonight, we learned to not question so much. 

Here's that pile 2 years later:

As you can see, the grass leaves, roots and associated soil has composted, without any attention from us, into gardening gold:

Our made-from-junk compost sifter makes short work of separating soil/compost from roots/plants:

Now to our "active" compost pile we go....

We basically throw anything that will decompose onto this pile and leave it alone. The back half has composted into garden platinum, a shovel or two of which went into each wheel barrel of the above.

Mix a bit with a fork and....

...it is ready to go onto a renovated bed (we use a lot of layering to keep the weeds knocked back):


We have a couple dozen beds so guess what we will be doing again soon (but we are grateful to have our Ultra Low Input Compost!). Keeps us out of trouble too!


  1. Enjoy your blog. Can't tell from the pics -- is this an already existing bed or a future planting bed. The cardboard has me questioning...

    1. It's an existing bed, but a problem one. We removed too much soil with the sod cutting and grass wanted to continue creeping in. So, we are adding the soil back in and thought to compost in action with all the weed growth, leaves, etc. It's worked like a charm in the past. :)

  2. Great to see and read about your composting endeavours, the root of a productive garden for all.

    1. That's for sure Debby! We are so excited to put this back into the garden. :)

  3. I put my lettuce seeds in over the weekend and went to my compost pile for some GOOD stuff...that sifter looks awesome, great idea!!

  4. HI J&S...Oh that makes to want to get my hands dirty!!
    I remember the days when I did just what you are doing even had a home made dirt sifter very similar to your's : )))
    Looks like things are getting in full swing for planting time!!
    The peeper start singing Tuesday evening! I was so excited.. Yeah!!

  5. It's nice to be able to get your hands back in the soil isn't it. I got potatoes planted and my salad greens and peas are taking off. Yea for garden season!

  6. Has it been two years already? Time is painfully short when measured by the seasons, it seems like just yesterday you were excited to be moving north. The soil looks just amazing, nice rotting you've had taking place there! Not put anything into the garden yet this year here, but the seed potatoes just arrived, so I'll have to get busy with that in the next couple of days or so. Good gardening to you both! ~Vonnie


We love to hear from our readers! Please share your thoughts.