Former Shows & Episodes

The Manic Gardener

Kate Gardner

The Manic Gardener – Composting 101: Bite the Silver Bullet

Spring has sprung just about everywhere in North America, and certainly across the pond, and in spring the avid gardener’s thoughts turn to—composting. All that pruning and mowing and clipping and raking of last fall’s debris and this spring’s growth produces plenty of garden waste.

But just how does one start with this composting business, anyhow?

The number of books out on the subject—or the fact that even one person, much less several, thought the topic deserved an entire book—can make the task seem daunting. Then there’s the question of hot or cold processes, and the problem of balancing brown and green ingredients, not to mention what it means (something bad, clearly) if a pile “goes anaerobic.”

And if you’ve ever happened upon a commercial composter costing several hundred dollars, you may well have concluded that the whole thing is way more expensive than it’s worth.

But despite all those books and dollars, backyard composting can actually be pretty straightforward, and its price can be zero.

My guest this week, Graham Golbuff, makes that quite clear, by clarifying the many mysteries of composting.
Graham directs the Master Gardener program at Seattle Tilth, a non-profit that’s been teaching and promoting organic gardening in Seattle for 35 years. (Check out their compost resources.) He guides us through the composting process, starting with an overview of its benefits to your wallet, your garden, and the environment. Then we turn to the how-tos, from the simplest, passive method, right through the intricacies of hot composting.

Join us for an introduction or refresher course on pile composting. It may answer a few questions, and it’s definitely good for a few laughs.

(Visit the blog, The Manic Gardener, for more on this topic.)