Sooke Garden Club: Composting

Simple, organic and economical way to improve and maintain health of plants

The executive of the Sooke Garden Club.

One of life’s simple pleasures

Rumplestiltskin, that not-so-altruistic creature of fairy tale lore, had a knack for spinning straw into gold. His technique was no doubt better for the planet than today’s mining is, but I can’t recall scientists being able to replicate it. Fortunately, gardeners are able to see ‘gold’ as something quite different from the dense, shiny, soft and pliable metal that the king demanded from miller’s daughter (whom he subsequently married on the misguided notion that she was the spinner). This alternative gold is compost – black gold for the garden! And anyone can create it easily from such everyday throw-aways as fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds/tea leaves, grass/plant clippings, and fallen leaves.

There is a good reason why gardening gurus talk non-stop about the value of home composting. It is a simple, organic and economical way to improve and maintain the health of plants. Whether used on lawns, flower or vegetable gardens, or container plants, compost performs a number of essential functions. It helps break down organic matter into plant-available nutrients, enabling plants to grow stronger. It helps the soil retain moisture, so less watering is required. It improves soil structure and can even repair contaminated soil. And, of course, it can help prevent erosion.

An additional benefit of composting is that it reduces the amount of waste going to the dump, where mass decomposition produces methane, a damaging greenhouse gas. As well, it means less transport- and machinery-related pollution. In other words, maintaining a healthy garden contributes to maintaining a healthy planet.

At this month’s meeting of the Sooke Garden Club, Doug Dalquist will talk about the “Magnificent Merits of Composting” and reveal how he goes about it. Doug has been doing the composting at Victoria’s Abkhazi Garden for about a dozen years and, since moving to Sooke two years ago, at the Sun River Allotment Garden as well. His presentation will include displays, discussion, and a question/answer period.

Please join us on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m., in the Sooke Legion Hall.

 

Note: January marks the start of the Garden Club’s membership year. By joining now, you maximize the benefits of membership: enjoyable and educational presentations by experts at monthly meetings from September through May; summer social events in members’ gardens; six judged parlour shows for learning to exhibit ornamentals and edibles; monthly plant sales; access to the Club’s library; and opportunities to share interests, ideas and experiences. Membership is $15 for the whole year and can be purchased at the door. For more information, e-mail:  sookegar denclub@yahoo.ca or phone Jane at 250-646-2573.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rare Short-eared owl was found dead in a Saanich backyard on Oct. 26 and will be sent for a necropsy to find out if it had ingested rat poison. (Photo courtesy Kimberly Adamec)
Rare owl found dead in Saanich yard to be sent for necropsy

Short-eared owl ‘vulnerable’ in B.C., owl advocate says

Shawn Magnus of Sidney Courier has partnered with Sidney Business Improvement Area Society for free commercial delivery for society members. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney business association partners with courier for free commercial delivery

Service started Oct. 26 and extends to a radius of 35 kilometres

The Starbucks at 3849 Cadboro Bay Rd. closed permanently on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Google Maps)
Cadboro Bay Starbucks closes despite petition signed by nearly 250 residents

Closure part of transition to more drive-thru locations, Starbucks spokesperson says

The iconic and well-loved live music venue Logan’s is permanently closing its doors due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Google Maps)
Fernwood pub Logan’s permanently closing its doors

Live music venue unable to weather COVID-19 storm

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait was elected president of the Union of B.C. Municipalitiesin September 2019. She helped guide the 190-member organization through the coronavirus pandemic. (UBCM photo)
Sooke mayor front-line commander of the coronavirus pandemic

Maja Tait played pivotal role during COVID-19 crisis

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

The Nightmare Before Christmas is the featured presentation in the first-ever Drive-In Movie and Concert Event, hosted by Harmony Project Sooke on Saturday (Oct. 31) at the SEAPARC parking lot. (Contributed photo)
TOP 5: Suggestions for your week ahead

We’ve got your weekend plans covered

A picture of John taken at Children’s Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River parking lot

The seven-year-old has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Most Read