How to Use a Raised Garden Bed as a “Compost Garden” During the Winter To Improve Soil Fertility

A few weeks ago, a friend and I uprooted the grass on this overgrown, raised, garden bed on the side of the house I currently reside in, replaced the wood sidings, picked up several bags of well-draining soil, a hoe, and some mums, and transformed the little flower bed. But now, summer has gone and autumn is upon us with winter quickly approaching and I have been throwing every skin or peel from every fruit or vegetable I’ve eaten into homemade composting buckets. Then the bright idea popped into my head to use the entire garden bed as composting soil since I can’t grow anything in it during the winter.

The mums currently planted in the flower bed are not quite dead yet, but as the life drains from them, I have already been collecting avocado skins and banana peels to toss in the raised square with the mums (soon). For now, they are in recycled gallon jugs with their tops removed and some soil added to mask any smells and start on the decomposition process.

This particular project will be a combination of prepping for spring planting and doing a bit of exercise once or twice a week. While breaking the flower bed down and preparing it to plant the mums, I realized how enjoyable it is to use a hoe for mixing the soil. So, using this same movement, I’ll be simultaneously be chopping up the organic matter into smaller bits, agitating and stirring the soil and those organic bits together, oxygenating the soil, and burning some calories.

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No, I’m not concerned about compost worms. I did not get any and I do not plan to. There have not been an abundance of worms in the soil, either. I’m just going to trust that the little bugs will take care of it. As they seem to do a pretty good job on the compost smoothie I fed the plants last summer.

Things that have gone into this composting bed:

  • banana peels/forgotten bananas
  • tomatoes I totally forgot about
  • avocado pits and avocado skins
  • orange peels
  • Mums: hacked those poor babies to pieces. *cackles evilly*

I really should be more concerned that I am killing what worms have found their way into the compost pile because I do start up the compost with a garden hoe so that probably isn’t very safe for the worms… Probably. ????

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