I need to tell you about composting. I have been harboring this secret for years. I have decided to come out with it - I get so giddy over making my soil rich over adding simple stuff instead of paying high dollar for fine dirt. Yes. I said it. I love composting and the benefits of it. It is such an easy thing to do and it truly helps out in your flower and vegetable beds.
Basically, you can just start with a pile leaves. If you would like to contain it, build a small fence around it using poultry wire, and small green posts. Add your leaves and grass clippings. If you don't have any, steal them. I'm serious. People put these things out by the curb for others to use. I have already been stalking black garbage bags by the road, because I have depleted my composting pile. Once you have a lot of leaves and grass clippings add simply things from your kitchen - coffee grounds (I leave them in the coffee filters), vegetable and fruit peelings, and egg shells. You will probably think that all of this would smell awful, but it doesn't. If it does, then something is wrong, and you probably need to add more leaves.
Fall is a great time to prep your flower beds for spring. I call it, "Putting your flower beds to sleep." I cut down scraggly looking annuals (and put them in my compost), weed, add compost to my flower beds, mulch,and plant anything that I may want to have in the spring. Basically, fall is the time to plant shrubs, trees, and annuals like tulips, paperwhites, irises, etc. As far as mulching goes, I learned that you need about 4 -5 inches of mulch. You don't have to mulch in the fall, you can in the spring, or you can do both. When you mulch in the fall, it slowly decomposes making your soil richer for the spring. I also learned that you want to start cleaning your beds, mulching, fertilizing, and trimming shrubs and trees in the middle of March. Oh the things you can learn when you are one of the youngest people at a seminar called "How to Make Your Soil Work for You!" It was about the same as the seminar that Brook and I attended at the Biltmore called, "Wine Tasting with Chocolate." That turned from how to taste wine to - this is what ailment I have what kind of wine do I need. Oh boy.
Here are some pictures of what I have done so far. I am creating new beds for my zinnias next spring. Since there was nothing really growing in them (I am moving the irises), I went ahead and started adding my compost. I will do this to my other flower beds later on in September.
Now that I have bored your to tears about composting, start stalking black garbage bags and taking out egg shells while thinking how you can make your wine work for you!