The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and … most flavorful, nutritous vegetables ever.


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    3 Responses to “The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and … most flavorful, nutritous vegetables ever.”

    • Finch says:
      61 of 61 people found the following review helpful:
      5.0 out of 5 stars
      Great practical ideas and a wonderful “compost philosophy”, June 26, 2008
      By 
      Finch

      This review is from: The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and … most flavorful, nutritous vegetables ever. (Paperback)

      My favorite passage from this book points out that buying hundreds of dollars of composting gear runs directly counter to the philosophy underlying a compost / organic garden. Composting is about using what you have where you have it, and that idea resonates throughout this book. While the basic methods will be familiar to experienced gardeners, it’s still cheering and invigorating to see the many ways in which not only compost but also simple, raw organic matter can be worked directly into the garden. This book brings compost out of a complicated and expensive bin in the far corner of the yard and puts it back where it belongs, right in the center of the garden.

      Its methods are also highly effective and nicely fleshed out, with the authors not only decribing how to set up sheet, crater, bin, and worm composts, but also giving invaluable tips on the types of crops that thrive in each. I took their advice and dug layers of leaves, grass, pulled weeds and food scraps directly into the earth, and the reward has been an most amazing crop of potatoes and squash – two plants that they rightly singled out as being particularly fond of a compost crater. Now, instead of trying to keep up with high-labor speed batches or buying a pricey tumbler, I’m letting my compost do the work itself, snuggled into the bottoms of dug or raised beds or, in the case of my pine needles, mulched right around the roots of the azaleas. It’s a deeply satisfying feeling to stop lugging garbage bags full of organic material to the curb and instead look around at a yard that gives itself everything it needs.

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    • allanbecker-gardenguru says:
      32 of 32 people found the following review helpful:
      5.0 out of 5 stars
      Composting Made Easy, January 1, 2009
      By 
      allanbecker-gardenguru (Montreal, Canada) –

      This review is from: The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and … most flavorful, nutritous vegetables ever. (Paperback)

      The Complete Compost Gardening Guide

      By Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin

      Storey Publishing

      ISBN 978-1-58017-702-3

      ISBN 978-1-58017-703-0

      The hedgehog that lives in my back yard has let me know, in his own way, that purchasing a compost bin with a ground level opening is not a good idea. He already eats everything tasty in my garden, so access to compostable kitchen scraps will only create a feast for him and a mess for me. The solution would be to invest in a rotary compost bin that prevents animals from climbing inside. Not a good idea! While I would like to do my part to save the planet, spending a lot of money on equipment contradicts the idea of going green.

      That is why the arrival of this book on my doorstep was so welcome. It only took the reading of a few pages to realize that there are many ways to compost without spending a lot of money. At first glance, I thought that this publication was targeting the commercial farmer, but on closer inspection, I discovered that this book has so much to offer the recreational gardener as well.

      What I like best about this book is the scholarly method with which the subject of composting is introduced and expanded upon, in incremental sub topics, until the totality of the subject has been examined. The essential message in this publication is that anyone’s back yard or farm can easily become a “compost- generating system” by simply following a few steps to create the right environment for organic matter to break down.

      The first three chapters discuss the fundamentals by reviewing the science of composting, the tools needed and the materials that are helpful. Then the book gets really interesting when the various techniques of composting are discussed. In this section, we are introduced to four methods of composting. Here is where we personalize the book, by selecting the procedure or procedures that best suit our landscape, our skills and our needs. Farmers with large quantities of waste vegetation may opt for one process while the weekend gardener might choose another.

      The first method is called “banner batches”. This is composting that takes place in heaps or enclosures. The second method is referred to as “comforter compost and grow heaps” This is a labor saving procedure that requires one to simply pile garden waste in layers, moisten and allow nature to do the rest. The next method discussed is called underground composting. In this procedure, holes in the ground are filled with organic material and then covered with earth and allowed to decompose. The last method is called `vermicompost” which uses worms to convert waste into compost.

      The final section of the book discussed how plants can interact with compost by growing in or near a compost heap. Some plants are enriched by growing close by and some plants enrich the heap itself by growing in it. In all, fifteen plants are recommended, each one being suitable for one of the four composting methods discussed in the book.

      While composting is a science, at no point in the book does the writing become technical. The publication is written for the layperson in a friendly and easy-to -read style. It almost makes the reader feel that we are visiting the authors on a farm and learning from them as they go about their work.

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    • M. Symak "Master Gardener" says:
      28 of 28 people found the following review helpful:
      5.0 out of 5 stars
      Best Yet for Depth and Variety, December 2, 2008
      By 
      M. Symak “Master Gardener” (Rural WIsconsin) –
      (REAL NAME)
        

      This review is from: The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and … most flavorful, nutritous vegetables ever. (Paperback)

      I am a Master Gardener Educator with a special interst in organic, Mother Earth stewardship. Outside of Rodale’s book on composting, this it the best overall guide on composting I have found. It is in-depth, yet takes us to practical ideas. Great photos and layout. Easy reading. Knowledgeable and inpiring. I think is a great choice!

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