Composting has many benefits. It’s a pity to let it lapse during the Winter.
Composting is good for your garden. It’s good for the landfills because you’re minimizing what you put into them. It saves money – you don’t need to purchase compost!
It can be a bit of hassle developing the composting habit, especially come the winter months, but it is worth it.
The two main components that go into composting are:
Organic, dry material such as dry leaves, hay, wood chips, straw, cardboard and paper
Organic wet materialsuch as food scraps, tea leaves, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels, grass clippings, fresh leaves. (No dairy or meat should be added.)
These two main components combine to supply the necessary elements for the composting process: carbon and nitrogen. Composting needs 1 part nitrogen to 3 parts carbon.
During winter you’ll mainly be dealing with the nitrogen component provided by the ‘wet’ material.
When it’s cold and it’s wet, the last thing you want to do is traipse out to the compost bin with your food scraps, open it up the bin, put the scraps in and then turn the bin. That’s enough to put anyone off composting!
Instead what you can do is to take your food scraps, chop them up if necessary and put them in a plastic bag in your freezer. When the weather warms up, you can simply take out the bags a few at a time, let them defrost and then put them into the compost bin.
This way your composting habit will be reinforced, your compost bin will quickly get back in production and your garden will thank you! So will the landfills!
You go to a lot of trouble to make sure that your home is bright and welcoming during December. Part of that is adding plants and greenery as part of your holiday decor.
There’s nothing brighter and more quintessentially a Christmas plant than Pointsettia. Keeping it looking good – or even keeping it going so that it’s alive and well for the following year takes a little attention.
First of all, make sure that you don’t forget to water them frequently, but, whatever you do, don’t allow the pot to stand in water. Remove the tray underneath so the pot can fully drain. Pointsettias come from warmer, dryer climates so they like to be warm and dry – cold feet aren’t good for them! Make sure they get plenty of light. They especially like sunlight.
Evergreen Christmas wreaths and garlands. When you purchase the ‘fixings’ to make your Christmas wreath and garlands, choose the freshest possible. Soak them in water overnight before you make them up. This helps them to absorb moisture and stay fresher longer. You can also gently mist them every few days to maintain them even longer.
Amaryllis makes a delightful show at this time of year and they’re popular as hostess gifts too! Because they’re bulbs you can enjoy them for years to come with just a little care. Water sparingly – perhaps every 3 to 7 days. Don’t let them get too cold. If they freeze they will die. When the blooms fade, cut them off to encourage reblooming. Keep them in a pot as they prefer this to being planted in the ground.