Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Composting


Compost box made of a series of stackable sections

This is the compost bin I  want to get soon.... hope you are reading this Ken.  If you are interested in how to make it - dead, dead simple - go and have a look here:  http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/factsheets/gg24.php

It is the best of designs because it isn't fixed anywhere and could be moved to another position easily.  Each section is light enough to lift on and off.  You build the height of the bin section by section as you fill it so no having to lob stuff over the side of a tall bin until you need to, even better the reverse is true - as you take out the compost to use you can take off a section of wood so, again, you are not having to shovel stuff up from the bottom of a three foot deep bin.  You can make it the height to suit yourself.  You can run two bins (which is the ideal) and by sharing the pieces it is unlikely you will need to build enough sections for two complete bins.  It is likely while the contents of one are being used up, the other is being made.  If you can get hold of some old floorboards or an old pallet cheaply it shouldn't cost much.

You don't have to have a bin to compost but it is easier and there are a zillion ways to make one.  Also just mounding stuff on the ground doesn't create the same amount of heat for a lot of the stuff as it will if squished into a confined space.  Four hefty posts hammered into the ground and wrapped round with chicken wire is perhaps the simplest.

If you don't know about composting there is a ton of stuff on the web.  You could start here:
http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicgardening/compost_pf.php

I really recommend you consider it other wise you will have a ton of rubbish to cart of somewhere at the end of the growing season and that is such a shame because it is pure gold for growing your own and costs nothing once the bin is made.  I am a control freak and would like my own bin so I know what's in it as I am only growing stuff to eat and I don't use any chemical controls.  Also a domestic small compost bin won't kill some perrrenial weeds or weed seeds so I'd rather avoid compost with those in it.  It matters less if you are growing flowers of course and you don't mind a bit of weeding.  I found our shredded office paper made good brown waste.  I have left a little pile of soil and weeds on some cardboard at the lotty until I can get a bin to put it in, so don't worry about it being the beginning of an eyesore, it will end up in a bin soon(ish).

4 comments:

  1. Absolutely right, composting is hugely important for the health of your garden and I'd definitely agree that two bins are better than one - otherwise you'll end up digging through the newly-added material to try to get to the properly composted stuff at the bottom.

    Also, I've found it pays to beware (or at least, be aware) of some materials that the books will tell you are compostable but that actually take a long time to break down properly. I posted a few of my findings and conclusions on my backyardkitchengarden.com blog a while back, if you're interested?

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  2. Off to read your stuff. I have done compost before and discovered that very dry material never seemed to degrade properly, hunks of cardboard stayed that way, even eggshells still looked like eggshells, not that they mattered. I think I realised stuff needs cutting up small as possible - even half grapefruit skins were pretty resistant. The only thing I never liked about the bin was the masses of those tiny little fruit flies or whatever they are called. Clouds of them when you uncovered the heap to chick stuff in. Off you read your blog.

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  3. Eggshells definitely take a long time to break down. My veg beds are speckled with them. Mind you, the sharp edges might act as a slug-deterrent as well? You never know.

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    1. In my experience the only deterrent for slugs is napalm - I don't use nuclear weapons as I think they are probably not organic! I actually DO use organic slug pellets and they seem to have knocked my population down - has taken three years to do that and I know they are just lurking waiting to come back. I am wondering how the lotty will shape up as far as slugs go?????

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