All the talk of composting made me want to try, too. I didn’t want to buy one of those $100 composting bins and growing worms isn’t for me. I came just imagine my eight year old walking in the house holding a hundred worms in her bare hands. (She loves any creepy crawly thing.) No, I can’t grow my own worm castings. I prefer to buy a bag of them when I can afford it.

So back to composting — I found this video on Sunset Magazine’s web site:http://www.sunset.com/garden/backyard-projects/chicken-wire-compost-bin-video-00400000037005/

This was cheap, fast and easy to make. The problem was that this method took me a year to make compost!

Also, if you do this method, you had better have a lot of space because you should start several of these bins at once or over a series of months. That way you would have continuous compost and when one bin filled up, you could start another. Also, it was very hard to stir and turn the compost the way you were supposed to because the sides were too high. Maybe my husband and I made it too high to begin with, but you might want to consider how tall you are (and how strong you are too.)

Now in the Vegetable Gardner’s Bible by Edward C. Smith, it shows this type of chicken wire hoop as the perfect tool for making “leaf mold” compost, which is supposed to be one of the best composts. But he tells you it takes a year. So start now!

The compost I eventually made ended up enriching my vegetable garden but was nowhere near what I need for my whole yard. I am still trying to figure it out. Send me your ideas!

Now if you have a very short attention span, need instant gratification and cheap thrills (and can’t wait for compost to decompose), try this soil amendment recipe from my favorite San Diego gardening author Pat Welsh.  In her Southern California Gardening book, she writes about harvesting seaweed from the beach. Stuff it in a black plastic bag, take it home and chop it up with a machete and mix it in the soil. All this sounds really funny to me. I don’t think I have a machete. I guess I could use a meat cleaver. I am not sure that would be safe for anyone.  But if you really want to try that go for it. I may do it one day just to amuse my husband or my niece –she says all I blog about is fertilizer, anyway.

Please send me your composting tips. I need help!