Feature: Start or Build Next Year’s Tomato Compost
Photo: Berry Breeze
Fall and winter may be the “off season” for your tomato garden, but it is the ideal time to prepare for next season. One element to consider is compost. If you don’t have a compost pile – or if your compost is depleted from the past season – now is the time to build one.
Decide whether you want to have an enclosed compost bin or an open bin.
Choose a designated area for your bin, preferably in the sun and where it can be protected.
Layer 6-8 inches of “brown” items (dead leaves, shredded paper and cardboard, wood chips, and hay) on the bottom of the pile followed by “green” items (fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, grass clippings).
Broadcast a few handfuls of fertilizer over the organic matter layers. Moisten and repeat the layers.
Autumn is an excellent time to start a compost pile, thanks to falling leaves. The best combination in compost raw material, by volume, about 3-4 parts of “browns” to one part “greens” – meaning your raked leaves can have a useful new home in your compost bin. As your arms get sore from raking leaves, dream about the “black gold” your compost will produce to add to your tomato garden next spring.