Just behind the back deck, very convenient to the garden, sits my compost bin, full of last fall’s leaves, vegetable scraps, fruit peelings, and egg shells.  I haven’t added anything new to this particular pile since Easter, and much of it has broken down into a lovely, dark, rich fertile soil.  Still, it is rather lumpy with matter that has not yet decomposed. 

I’ve had in mind the need to visit the hardware store to buy some wire screen material with a course enough mesh for sifting compost, and then attaching it to a frame made from scrap wood here at home, but that just hasn’t happened!  

I wanted to use my nice compost today when I set my tomato and pepper plants in the garden, but it seemed too clumpy to be usable.  Looking around the gardening shelf in the garage, my eyes lit upon a possibility.  Yes, those trays from the garden center just might work!

So I nested two trays together (one by itself seemed flimsy), set them over an old dish pan relegated to garden use, put a shovel full of compost in it, and used a trowel (and my gloved hand) to push it through the holes.

And. . . it worked!  The only change I would make to my system is to put a longer container beneath the trays so I would not need to be as careful about where it fell through and landed.  (I might also choose to do it on a day when it isn’t already 88 degrees at ten o’clock in the morning!)

Each of my baby tomatoes and peppers got a good scoop of homemade compost mixed in its planting hole, as well as a generous top-dressing over their area of the garden.  I like to think this makes them happy!

Finally, since the post needs some color, the clematis, which overlooks my newly planted vegetables, has opened up and is more beautiful than I’ve ever before seen it.  Surely, it’s the compost!