Saturday, October 2, 2010

Compost Comparison Experiment for Work :)

I love my job.  LOL!  They want me to test out a brand of compost they can get locally, which I think is great!  Don't have to ask me twice to do an experiment like this.  LOL!
 Here it is!  Harvest in the City Compost.  It comes in a 5 gallon bucket, which the empty bucket can be returned and you save $2 on your next bucket.  It even has tips on how to use it on the website.  Nice. :)
 It really is beautiful.  So lovely to put your hands in.  :D  I love having my hands in the dirt.  My hands feel at home there. 
 It's up against Fox Farms.  I think as long as its comparable, I will suggest we use it.  I'm going to add both to my seed starting mix and see how the seeds grow that I plant in them.
 My necessary tools since I'm going to use the winter sowing method to start these seeds.  Permanent marker to label each milk carton, knife to cut milk carton, scissors also to cut milk carton.
 Duct tape is necessary as well for this project.  For labeling and taping the milk jug back together.
 My favorite winter sowing vessel.  The milk jug.
 Perlite, an additive to my seed starting mix.  Helps aerate the soil and retains water to keep the soil wet longer.
 Worm castings.  Another additive to my seed starting mix.  Also known as worm poop, plants love this stuff.
 First, cut the milk jug like so, leaving one side attached so you can easily tape it back together when your done.  Start by poking the knife where you want to cut and then use the scissors to do the rest.
 Poke holes in the bottom with the knife.  Preferably first before you cut your milk carton around the middle and with a heated knife, I usually don't cut myself, but did this time.  Not good.
 Fox Farm mixture.  1/3rd fox farm soil, 1/3rd perlite, and 1/3rd worm castings.
 Harvest in the City mix.  1/3rd Harvest in the City Compost, 1/3rd perlite, and 1/3rd worm castings.
 One of the seed starting mixtures mixed together.  Yay!  I did each separately, but only shown one, didn't think we needed pictures of each since you probably get the idea.
 In your milk carton like so.  Oh and make sure to label each milk carton at this point by using the duct tape and permanent marker.  Put it on the bottom of the milk carton so the sun won't bleach it.
 Water the soil and let it drain.
 Figure out what you want to plant.  In this case I'm going to use my favorite lettuce seeds.  We eat a lot of lettuce.  :)
 Put seeds in like so.  Depending on the type of seed you use we'll determine the depth of the seed, in this case, lettuce seed needs light to germinate so I just sprinkle them on top.
 Press them down with the back of your hand into the soil so they make contact with the soil and soak up some of the moisture.
 Now, its time to get out that trusty duct tape and tape your milk jug back together.
 You are done, finished Fox Farm milk jug, note there is no lid, they need air, so leave it off and recycle it.
 Harvest in the City milk jug is done.  I also labeled the sides of the milk cartons, sometimes it will still be there when all is said and done, but not always, so make sure to label the bottom with duct tape too.
 Sitting in there spot, hopefully it won't take long before we have some sprouts.  : ) Every few days I will update with pictures on how they are doing.  Water when the surface looks dry, I'm hoping it will rain often enough I won't have to water. ; )

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