Compost gardening – a brown thumb’s dream.

For those of you that don’t yet have a compost, you may want one after reading this. 🙂

The pumpkin story

At the local pumpkin farm

Back in the day at my last home, we had a big ‘ol pile of horse and hay ‘compost’ from mucking out the stalls. My then very young son desired a pumpkin in the garden. Trouble is, I didn’t have a garden. So I bought a pumpkin seedling and stuck it on top of the compost pile instead.

Well let me tell you, that thing exploded in a good way. In no time the pumpkin plant on steroids was sprawled out covering the ENTIRE massive compost heap. And THEN the pumpkins started to grow.

Oh my word. I counted 27 HUGE pumpkins from one plant.

Here’s the best part. Near harvest time, I knew they were nearly done but I wanted to leave them on the vine until the 11th hour. I wanted the freshest carved pumpkins we could muster.

The day before Halloween approached  I wandered to the back 40, and what I saw made my jaw drop. All 27 pumpkins had rolled to the bottom of the compost pile. When they were done, they simply broke free of the vines and rolled down themselves. Like they picked themselves. It was freaky and fascinating all at the same time.

And here they are!

Kidding! But close. 🙂

The moral to this story? Composts make wonderful carefree gardens.

Last week I head to the gardening center for a few more plants. I had room to plant the flowers, but not some of the veggies. Now what?

Now it so happens, my friend Vic was by on the weekend and came and planted stuff in my garden.  Here he is a couple years ago doing the SAME. THING. How a girl can get this lucky is beyond me. Thanks Vic!

And when we ran out of room in the garden, without warning, he plunked a zucchini plant in the middle of the ‘good’ compost. And it made me smile and remember my pumpkin story.

So today, I got to replay that. I planted my corn and pumpkin in.. where else? The ‘weed’ compost pile. It’s hard to make out, but the sticks mark where I planted seedlings. The bush behind the sticks is the never ending rhubarb gone mad.

Why compost gardens are cool:

1. You never have to worry about feeding your plants. 

2. Your plants will always have lots of friends! (weeds you don’t have to weed)

3. Loads of room for the whole entire plant family. 

Want more proof it works?

This is my weed compost. All the plants growing are throw away flowers and plants I TRIED to kill. But they flourished, big time. So I leave them and let them bloom. And then ignore them and throw weeds on top of them when they are done. Only to find them return next year. It’s a great way to cover up those heaps of weeds, isn’t it?

I challenge you. Plant something in your own compost. Anyone wanna zucchini race just for kicks?!?

Ever try this? What’s your own secret to keeping your plants happy and healthy all summer long?

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Categories: Gardening
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  1. I am fascinated. I just recently dug up a buch of seedlings from our compost pile, that had originated from kitchen scraps thrown in the ppile and am nursing them to become strong healthy plants for our garden. It would never have occurred to me to leave them there.

    I do hot composting, so I turn my pile regularly though, so that may not have worked.

    I have been working on a series about composting you may find interesting.

  2. I had to chuckle when I saw your ‘headline’. I’ve been wanting to do a post “composting for dummies”, or something like that! Right now I have several tomato plants in my compost pile. Now I see Troy’s comments just above mine….he obviously does it all ‘the right way’, which means that if we have things growing in our compost, it’s not heating up properly. Oh well, it still works and it’s easy. I don’t have a fancy bin, I turn it about once in a blue moon, but I am faithful to feed the pile with veggie scraps, leaves, dead flowers, etc. and it still makes ‘black gold and I feel like I’m doing a small part to help our environment.
    CYA
    Susie

  3. Girl my zucchini has done grown..been froze..been fried..been dehydrated..and of course eaten raw. Down here in South Texas..it’s like we are a season ahead of ya’ll.
    This year we did put the garden in the horse paddock. We had moved them..and there was plenty of fertilizer..so yeah..it has done great!!!
    We have currently..zucchini, yellow and white squash..running about 5 gallon bucket a day and
    blackeyes..green beans..Okra..cucumbers (already canned 36 pints of sweet pickles) and of course tomatoes.
    I have posted the garden on my rv blog and on my chatting blog. Come by and visit.

    Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

    and Full Timing Like A Chinese Fire Drill.

  4. awesome story!!! I had a huge pumpkin one year…but the slugs and vine borers took it away!!!
    I do love that rusted headboard in your garden…that is the coolest photo! thanks for linking in to my garden flaunt this week. I do hope you will join in again!

  5. I’m 60 years old & grew up w/an organic garden, nourished w/well-composted material. Hubby & I have gardened for most of our 40+ years. I’ve attended Master Gardening classes. . . but never in all that time have I seen a compost bed as lovely as yours! It’s completely charming. . . truly a delight! Congratulations on making what is usually an eye-sore into a thing of beauty!

  6. Amazing, isn’t it? For kicks, last year I planted pumpkins and gourds in the compost heap (mostly donkey manure.. in case you wondered.. lol). It was the first year I actually had any luck with pumpkins! Thanks for the great reminder… think I’ll scatter some seeds out there today 🙂

  7. Barbara Jean, I can relate with no time! More than you’ll ever know. I’ve never developed an attachment to my yard until this year. I was always renovating and camping. The fever for outdoor fun is at an alltime pitch right now, hence all the garden posts.

    I am hoping by teaching something with each installment, it’s worth your click on over! I promise friends, I’m on a mission on a project inside with a deadline, so we’ll be switching over to DIYing in no time. 🙂

    Donna

  8. Love the story about your pumpkins! I have had the same experience in my compost! I posted Wednesday about the papaya trees growing in my compost area. I have had other things grow there before but did not survive. But nothing is stopping the papaya trees! I think there are 6 – 7 growing in there. I will find out tomorrow when I go in there to transplant them. There will be too many for me so I am going to give a few away.

    ~ Tracy

  9. I’ve have some of the best cantaloupe grow from a compost pile. Oh, and last year we gave some baby pigs some tomatoes and we had a huge tomato vine that grew up a fence line and we had tomatoes until November! How did the ones fare that we planted from the garden center? Not so good lol

  10. amazing pumpkins!!! We can actually get free compost here from our landfill, very nice. I would still prefer my own but my husband has a fear of having it in the back yard…but then he doesn’t like painted furniture either…silly boy.

  11. I also have a worm bin. That is fun..they require very little care, they love lettuce leafs and strawberry trimmings and their”poop” is liquid gold. Try it..easy and rewarding.

  12. Hahaha… great post Donna… love the pumpkin story.

    I was thinking about you today and was going to email you and tell you to call off the Get R Done… it is killing me. I know I am late, but I was gearing up for the next one…lol. You are killing me… eaves cleaned out, deck power washed and still don’t have the gardening finished… I am avoiding the worst of it, but I think it would be easier on my body if I just did it and then I don’t have to find 15 jobs to avoid it.

    Hope you are having a great weekend.

    Hugs, Deb

  13. I have just found your site and I am in love!!! I love your style and the feel of your house. It feels like home to me except my home doesn’t look like that but I wish it did. Thank you so much for sharing, I will be sure to visit often!!!

  14. When I saw that “other” gate headboard, I thought you had done a project you hadn’t shown us yet. Glad you’re gettin’ things done over there.