Sticks in the Compost Pile

Have you ever wondered about putting sticks in the compost pile?  And I also mean dead flower stalks which are often similar to sticks.  I have had this question for a while about putting sticks in the compost pile.  Because what are you supposed to do with all the sticks and dead flower stalks that come from a garden and a yard (if you have any trees…) every season.

Experimenting with Sticks in the Compost Pile

So last year I decided to put sticks in the compost pile.  And dead flower and vegetable stalks.  I figured what the heck–I didn’t want to put them in the trash.  I also thought that they would provide air pockets in the compost because everything can’t squish together with sticks and stalks criss crossing in the compost pile.

Now a Year Later…

You live and you learn or should I say I live and I learn.  My compost is ready but the sticks and stalks have not composted.  They are really a pain in the neck as I dig out my compost.  They are so annoying.  I always have to pick them out.  Here is a picture of some sticks and sunflower stalks that did not compost in my pile.

It is a matter of opinion about how annoying these non -composted sticks and stalks are.  It  could be that it wouldn’t bother you at all.  In the meantime, I have decided that I am not including sticks in my compost pile anymore.  And that also includes dead flower and vegetable stalks.  Some dead flower stalks are just like sticks.  For example, sunflower stalks are large and rigid.  Pepper stalks are also quite rigid and hard.  So now I have a new dilemma.  What am I going to do with the sticks that fall from my trees and all the dead flower and vegetable stalks at the end of the season.  I do not want to send them to the landfill–that is for sure!  I am thinking about modified Hügelkultur.  I have already started working on this idea and will share more about it in my next blog post.

Daffodils in Snow

Daffodils in SnowWell the results are in for daffodils in snow and this applies to about 5 inches of very heavy wet snow and night temperatures in the 20’s.  As you can see by my picture the daffodils in snow didn’t do too well.  I am talking about the flowers.  The greenery survived fine.  The leaves will be able to do their job with the sun and photosynthesis to make food for the bulbs.  We will be OK next year as long as we don’t have this freaky weather again.


Daffodils in Snow?? What to Do?

If you have a heads up about snow coming, you can make an informed decision about what to do with your flowers.  I kept picking my flowers and enjoying them in the house.  We had a least 7 canning jars filled with daffodils around my house.  They were very beautiful and uplifting to look at!  But there were still many more in the garden.  I am glad I left them in the garden.  Even though the flowers were damaged they are still popping up and waving in the wind.  They are still adding a burst of color to my garden even though they are not perfect.

I’m really glad that I brought so many into the house though!  It is a personal decision.  The status of your daffodils after enduring cold snowy winter weather might be different than mine.  They could be a different variety that would hold up better or worse than mine.  So it is best to experiment.  Bring some in to enjoy and then note temperatures at night and see how they survive.  You can also do the ultimate experiment and leave some out in a snow storm to see how they hold up.  Then you will know what your daffodils can endure and still be a delight to you.  They definitely don’t last as long in the house.

See my other posts on Daffodils:

Frozen Daffodils

Daffodils and Freezing Cold Weather

Brown Tips on Daffodil Leaves

Frozen Daffodils

After several nights in the low 20’s I am learning about frozen daffodils!  Please see my last post, Daffodils and Freezing Cold Weather, on the beginnings of this learning experience.  No one wants frozen daffodils!  They are one of the first flowers to emerge after winter.  I watch expectantly, as many people do,  as I see them push up through the earth in the late winter.  Daffodils are one of the first breaths of spring.  This year we thought we were done with cold weather.  I even contemplated planting my Sugar Snap Peas early because the extended forecast didn’t include any freezing weather.  So much for that extended forecast.  We have had several nights in the low 20’s with a big snowstorm.  And then after that we have 2-3 nights expected to be in the teens.

What I Am Learning About Frozen Daffodils

So far none of my daffodils have frozen in temperatures in the low 20’s at night.  They are extremely hardy.  But they do take a beating from the freezing temperatures.  Some daffodils are actually on the ground after a freezing night.  During the next day they mostly rejuvenate and spring back to life off the ground.  I’ve been watching carefully:

  • If they don’t spring back to life during the day
  • if they stay very close to the ground during the day
  • or if their stem actually gets a bend in it

I have been cutting them before the next cold night.  The flowers have been fine.  I have several canning jars containing beautiful daffodils around my house.  Basically this is a science experiment to see how much cold it takes before they become frozen daffodils.  You can do your own experiments to see how your type of daffodils do in the freezing weather.  I’m sure the different kinds of daffodils respond differently to cold temperatures.

Advice on Daffodils and Snow

Last night, March 13th, we had a very late snowstorm.  We were supposed to get up to 10 inches of snow.  The predictions actually varied greatly.  What we did get is about 4 inches of very heavy wet snow.  I left a lot of daffodils outside to see how they would fare.  They didn’t do so well.  I think the wet heavy snow did them in.

The heavy wet snow damaged a lot of the flowers.  I would recommend that if you are going to have:

  • a late snow
  • that is substantial meaning several inches
  • and it is heavy and wet
  • and your daffodils are already in bloom

cut as many as you want and bring them into the house to enjoy.

Enjoy Your Daffodils in the House If it is Too Cold Outside

If you are going to have very cold nights, that is the low 20’s, cut some daffodils to enjoy in the house.  Leave some outside to see how they do.  If they are on the ground in the morning they might recover during the day.  If you want just cut them and bring them indoors so you can still enjoy their beauty and brilliance!  It is amazing how many daffodils can grow in a small patch.  We have so many in our house and there are still a lot outside!  I wish I would have counted them.  Good luck with your daffodils and enjoy the spring soon to be here!