Daryl Beyers on Composting 101 – A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – March 16, 2020

Compost Smart: What’s your composting setup? Bin, tumbler or open pile—or maybe even an ingenious set of three pits in the ground? And most important, how is it working? More effective composting tactics, along with other timely advice to prepare for spring, was the subject of my conversation  with New York Botanical Garden instructor Daryl Beyers.

The popular course that Daryl Beyers teaches at NYBG in New York City is called Fundamentals of Gardening. And now Daryl, who has more than 25 years of professional landscaping experience besides his teaching role, has put all the fundamentals into a new book, “The New Gardener’s Handbook.” 

It was in its pages that I picked up some new-to-me tips on better composting and more—including the right way to water as you plant trees and shrubs; how to choose which limbs to prune off or keep when shaping and thinning; and how to rejuvenate overgrown shrubs (all at once, or in stages?). 


2 replies

  1. Excellent information, but I have a question about using shredded newspaper and junk mail. I love the idea, but aren’t the inks toxic? I have a straw bale worm system and don’t want to add materials that might kill my worms. I’m in Santa Fe, so digging pits isn’t really an option.

  2. Hi, Susan. This is Margaret from A Way to Garden. Uncoated (not glossy) paper (including cardboard) is generally considered compost-safe, or OK for use as mulch, too, because many inks now are soy-based. The general recommendation is nothing with lots of colored ink, like magazines, and of course with junk mail you will need to strip out any cellophane “windows” where the address shows through and such non-paper ingredients.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: