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The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and producing ... most flavorful, nutritous vegetables ever. [Kindle Edition]

Deborah L. Martin , Barbara Pleasant
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin turn the compost bin upside down with their liberating system of keeping compost heaps right in the garden, rather than in some dark corner behind the garage. The compost and the plants live together from the beginning in a nourishing, organic environment. The authors' bountiful, compost-rich gardens require less digging, weeding, mulching, and even less planting. And here's one of the best parts — no more backbreaking slogs from compost bin to garden. The authors even identify the plants that benefit most from compost and how the elements of a composted garden work together.

A natural Six-Way Compost Gardening System provides the ruling principles for successfully improving every garden with healthy compost. Readers will learn how to:

1. Choose labor-saving sites that keep gardens and compost piles as close to one another as possible.

2. Work with the compostable riches produced at home. Every yard and kitchen produces plenty of material — easily identified with at-a-glance charts — for a great start.

3. Help composting critters do their work by balancing ingredients, adding high-nitrogen meals when needed, and keeping the compost moist.

4. Reuse recycling bin items, such as large plastic buckets and cardboard boxes, as composting equipment.

5. Keep diversity in the mix. The magic is in the variety of the components and how they work together to create "gardener’s gold."

6. Customize composting to suit specific garden needs, always concentrating first on soil care.

Adhering to these guidelines, Pleasant and Martin bring readers on a thorough, informative tour of materials and innovative techniques, leading the way to an efficient and rewarding home gardening system. Their methods are sure to help gardeners turn average vegetable plots into rich incubators of healthy produce, bursting with fresh flavor, and flower beds into rich tapestries of bountiful blooms all season long.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When heaping mounds of garden debris just sit there like so much, well, garbage, many frustrated garden composters bemoan their lack of success and throw in the old pitchfork. Some worry about becoming a slave to elaborate, multiplex bins requiring heavy maintenance, while others fret over locating a compost pile where it won’t draw the ire of neighbors. Based on their own trial-and-error experiences, the authors calm the fears that can wriggle through gardeners’ psyches like so many burrowing earthworms. Writing in an easygoing, conversational style, the authors introduce such novel practices as underground composting and vermicomposting. Including critical safety tips, indispensable tool recommendations, and extensive guidelines for compostable materials, this comprehensive how-to will persuade novices to give composting a try, and offer accomplished composters ingenious new methods for creating healthy gardens. --Carol Haggas

From the Back Cover

Turn the compost bin upside down! The nutritious, organic diet your garden craves is as simple as creating compost heaps right in the garden. Plants and compost live together in labor-and time-saving harmony, producing bright, sweet, juicy vegetables all season long.

Product Details

  • File Size: 10423 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (February 13, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003PGQK82
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
115 of 115 people found the following review helpful
By Finch
My favorite passage from this book points out that buying hundreds of dollars of composting gear runs directly counter to the philosophy underlying a compost / organic garden. Composting is about using what you have where you have it, and that idea resonates throughout this book. While the basic methods will be familiar to experienced gardeners, it's still cheering and invigorating to see the many ways in which not only compost but also simple, raw organic matter can be worked directly into the garden. This book brings compost out of a complicated and expensive bin in the far corner of the yard and puts it back where it belongs, right in the center of the garden.

Its methods are also highly effective and nicely fleshed out, with the authors not only decribing how to set up sheet, crater, bin, and worm composts, but also giving invaluable tips on the types of crops that thrive in each. I took their advice and dug layers of leaves, grass, pulled weeds and food scraps directly into the earth, and the reward has been an most amazing crop of potatoes and squash - two plants that they rightly singled out as being particularly fond of a compost crater. Now, instead of trying to keep up with high-labor speed batches or buying a pricey tumbler, I'm letting my compost do the work itself, snuggled into the bottoms of dug or raised beds or, in the case of my pine needles, mulched right around the roots of the azaleas. It's a deeply satisfying feeling to stop lugging garbage bags full of organic material to the curb and instead look around at a yard that gives itself everything it needs.
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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Composting Made Easy January 1, 2009
The Complete Compost Gardening Guide

By Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin

Storey Publishing

ISBN 978-1-58017-702-3

ISBN 978-1-58017-703-0

The hedgehog that lives in my back yard has let me know, in his own way, that purchasing a compost bin with a ground level opening is not a good idea. He already eats everything tasty in my garden, so access to compostable kitchen scraps will only create a feast for him and a mess for me. The solution would be to invest in a rotary compost bin that prevents animals from climbing inside. Not a good idea! While I would like to do my part to save the planet, spending a lot of money on equipment contradicts the idea of going green.

That is why the arrival of this book on my doorstep was so welcome. It only took the reading of a few pages to realize that there are many ways to compost without spending a lot of money. At first glance, I thought that this publication was targeting the commercial farmer, but on closer inspection, I discovered that this book has so much to offer the recreational gardener as well.

What I like best about this book is the scholarly method with which the subject of composting is introduced and expanded upon, in incremental sub topics, until the totality of the subject has been examined. The essential message in this publication is that anyone's back yard or farm can easily become a "compost- generating system" by simply following a few steps to create the right environment for organic matter to break down.

The first three chapters discuss the fundamentals by reviewing the science of composting, the tools needed and the materials that are helpful. Then the book gets really interesting when the various techniques of composting are discussed.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Yet for Depth and Variety December 2, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a Master Gardener Educator with a special interst in organic, Mother Earth stewardship. Outside of Rodale's book on composting, this it the best overall guide on composting I have found. It is in-depth, yet takes us to practical ideas. Great photos and layout. Easy reading. Knowledgeable and inpiring. I think is a great choice!
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77 of 84 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners October 23, 2010
I checked this book out from the library hoping to learn how to compost, something about which I know very little except that you use organic materials, you layer things, and you may need to turn it. This book seemed like it would be great if I had the vaguest idea about composting. For instance, there is only the thinnest of detail on how to set up what they call Grow Heaps, in which you apparently grow seeds directly in your composted material. But what good does it do you to know that you need one part soil to four parts leaves and grass clippings when you don't even know what you're supposed to do with this? Do you layer things or just randomly toss them in the pile? Do you have to turn it? How tall does it need to be? How wide? Do you put the soil or the clippings down first, or does it matter? There was lots of information on the genetics and history and biology of the Grow Heap, but not one single step-by-step guide on how to set the darn things up. The authors assume you're already composting and need ideas on how to do it better, so if this isn't you, don't get this book.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compost Book Review November 22, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was always under the miss-assumption that composting was just throwing a bunch of waste in a pile and letting it rot. Boy! was I wrong. This book helps you find different, creative, and convenient ways of enriching your soil while reducing waste and saving money. It covers all types of soil amendments and explains what they do when added to your compost pile. It also includes helpful advise for certain crops and identifying common pests and how to get rid of them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read!
What an interesting book. Full of information. I would recommend it to anyone interested in gardening and composting.
Published 21 days ago by Mary DI
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
We will all eventually be compost .
Published 24 days ago by oldjamesy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best book on composting out there. Just great - details, practical, long-term help.
Published 1 month ago by Saroshi
5.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend
This book is in great shape and is very informative if you are into composting.
Published 2 months ago by Vance
5.0 out of 5 stars Only Compost book you'll ever need
I had no idea there was so much to composting. This is a great reference with lots of pictures and personal stories by the authors of how and why.
Published 3 months ago by JulieB
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Looking forward to harvest.
Published 3 months ago by Jes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I want to compost as much as I can without adding to the landfill.
Published 5 months ago by AB
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Newbie Guide to Composting
Helpful tips for the newbie on composting.
Published 6 months ago by Professor
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful ideas
I've been composting for years, but I keep an eye open for books like this that can offer better ways to composting. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Arthur Daigle
5.0 out of 5 stars First time gardner
I'm a beginner at composting and have purchased several books to see what is the similar theme. I don't want to use chemicals on my first major garden nor do I want to use... Read more
Published 8 months ago by W. Alley
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