Great composting

The patio tomatoes worked out ok. They’re putting out a decent crop of mini- tomatoes or giant cherry tomatoes, whichever. I made a few mistakes this time around because I expected the plants to be smaller. I put 3 plants in the container and then inadequately supported them. I guess I was expecting smaller plants or not thinking straight. Just for grins, I’m going to start some new plants and see if I have any luck growing them in the dead of winter. Nothing to lose. The pic shows a few tomatoes, a few peppers, and a head of cabbage.
first-cabbage
I started cutting back the ghost peppers, gathering a good shipment for my nephew and leaving one last major picking for the original seed supplier. I’ll see him Thanksgiving and deliver the goods. I did get to thinking – would the ghost peppers heat up the compost pile and maybe ward off nematodes in the future? I guess we’ll find out next year because I pitched a couple of handfuls of the peppers into the pile and there will be a load of leaves and stems which, perhaps, carries some heat too. Speaking of which, what a rich, eclectic mixture the current filling pile will yield. It has all the standard stuff, chopped palmettos, oak leaves, and grass clippings but this one will include some citrus, cabbage leaves, and a large variety of shrub and fern trimmings. It also has a fairly heavy load of seaweed and lots of wood ash. Also, when I took out the poke boat the other day, I had to chop down a load of tall lake grass and that too made it to the compost pile. The pile is big enough to shut down now but I still have a ready to use pile that has to go first. Which brings me back to the ghost peppers. Once I pull those and two more cabbages, I will be filling the spot and an adjacent area with the ready to use pile adding approximately 50SF of new and improved garden space, about a foot thick with compost. So that leaves me an empty compost bin to start a new pile and close down the nearly full pile I’ve been working recently. The pile I quit adding to will be ready the end of February. The pic shows the active pile on the left and the remainder of the ready to use pile on the right. For size perspective, the active pile is 5’x5’x2′; the ready pile is 7’x2‘x18”.
compost-piles
My neighbor came home to a surprise the other night; his water system was dead. Turns out some critter got into the pump contacters and fried the system. Fried is probably too light a term – completely burned it up to barely recognizable chars. We ran a hose from my system over to his and he was back in business within an hour. I had the exact same thing happen a few years back. In that case I just happened to be walking by the pump when it burst into flame and left my contact box looking exactly like his. When I got down to examine it, sure enough there was a giant palmetto bug across the contactors. Very well cooked. I had a pump guy come in and fix mine whereas George will have enough parts around to reconstruct a workable solution. I decided to open mine back up and see if anything had taken up unauthorized residence and sure enough there was a small family of spiders and a handful of lizard eggs inside the contact box but all in all, fairly clean. I blew it out and sprayed it with long term insect killer and need to remember to do that every 6 months or so.

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