Outside in the Garden

“Outside in the Garden”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Finally, able to work outside. The past few days have been mild enough to work outside in the garden. I can’t remember the last time I was able to do that. Monday, was a particularly nice day – mild and sunny. How nice since I had the day off from work.

Here, in the Gulf South, we have to get most of the heavy garden work done before the heat shows up. I try to get as many of these chores done in late winter, but, as often happens, work, weather, or family obligations will interfere with my good intentions. One of the jobs that often gets pushed to a back burner is the trimming of the liriope. I have edged most of my garden beds with liriope and late winter, before the new sprouts show up is the time to trim it back. Trimming it gets rid of the old, cold-damaged foliage. This year, I have started early. Here are the before and after photos.


Lirope Before Trimming


Lirope After Trimming


After trimming the liriope, the question becomes what to do with it. Well, I just can’t bring myself to just throw it away, but luckily this trimming coincides with the falling of the live oak leaves. This makes the perfect time to clear out the compost bins and load them up with the liriope and oak leaves. It is always recommended to have layers of green and brown yard waste to make for quick cooking compost.

Before I could start layering new material to make compost, I had to clear out the old bins. I was so pleasantly surprised because, as I shoveled the “gardener’s gold”, I realized that this was the best compost I have ever made. Wonderful, crumbly leaf mold. One bin yielded two large garbage cans worth of black humus. I plan on spreading this in the garden this weekend.



After clearing out the bins, the next step was to start layering the oak leaves and liriope. I put down a layer of about four inches of oak leaves, moistened it and then added about four inches of the liriope and then moistened that layer. Layer after layer, and the first bin was quickly filled. The second bin will be finished by the weekend.



On Tuesday night, it rained about a half an inch, just enough to keep the new compost happy. I think this compost may be ready earlier than the ones I started in the past since I have more green layers than usual. If I get compost from this new batch that is as good as my last batch, my garden will be very happy. I was happy just to be outside in the sun and warm temperatures working in my garden.



  1. January 19, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Dear Jan, How lovely that you were able to spend time outside! And you spent the time very wisely it seems. Can’t wait to see your spring garden. P x

  2. January 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I am envious you are able to work outside already! Your compost is looking good and I’m sure your beds and borders will be very happy with it.

  3. Scott said,

    January 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    oooo…the thought of all the wonderful compost!

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