Dishing the Dirt on Compost

HELLO there everyone!

This is the first report from the Glazebrook Growers Compost Department….

As you will know, we currently have three compost bins in the Kitchen Garden. The round one on the right is the oldest, the two square ones on the left are more recent, and they are all currently in use.

compost-bins-nov-16

 

Since this is a communal venture, we rely on all gardeners knowing how compost is made, and the simple do’s and don’ts of what to put into the bins. So I thought I would remind everyone of the general guidance given by Paul Richens:

  • To make good compost you need a more or less equal amount of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ by volume.
  • Greens include grass cuttings, young weeds, uncooked fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags, leaves and coffee grounds, soft green prunings, horse manure, and wood ash (in moderation).
  • Browns include cardboard, eg brown packaging cardboard, toilet roll tubes and egg boxes, waste paper and junk mail, including shredded paper, paper towels & bags, old bedding plants, straw.
  • Items that should NOT go to compost include meat, fish, dairy products or cooked food, coal & coke ash, cat litter, dog faeces, disposable nappies.

So when you put some ‘greens’ into one of the bins, it is a good idea to add some of the ‘brown’ card that we leave nearby.

Gina and I will also be keeping an eye on it and turning it every now and again with our newly acquired compost aerator (see example below). The compost needs to be watered regularly – those flies are an indication that it is too dry, so pour a can of water over the heap if you see them.

paul-compost-16-small
Paul & his trusty aerator

At the end of season gathering on 12th November we took our first ‘harvest’ of a rich mature compost, and divided it out amongst the beds. There is more to come from the other bins – we will prepare this soon and bag it up, ready for your use.

jm-nov-celeb-black-gold
The future is bright! Food for our soil.

The composting will slow down over the winter, but in the spring we should have some more to use. When spread on the top of your beds it will enrich the soil, and its dark colour will conduct the spring sunshine and warm everything up.

Harry Hunt

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