Belated Awareness of Compost...
Having now found out it was Compost Awareness Week in the UK, I thought I'd better go out and have a look at how my heaps were progressing. My compost area as three bins and at the minute, they're looking like:
OK, so it's not strictly composting, but my worm bin is definitely producing the best final product. On the other hand I'm having a bit of trouble keeping my worm population up, leading to a rather sedate production rate. I think it's because I'm not applying anti-acid as freqently as I should. During the summer I use the worm juice from the sump as plant food, during the winter I put it on my other heaps.
If you want more details on the worm bin, check out my review.
This is my main compost bin. I emptied it almost completely last year so the current compost is immature. I put most of our food waste plus brown envelopes, kitchen roll, paper bags and small shredded cardboard boxes in here. I'm not too fussy as I'm interested to see what rots and what doesn't. From the look of things I'll have to give it a good mix this weekend.
These bins are very good if you have a small garden as they keep everything neat and tidy.
This is the bad boy of my compost system. We have lots of privet hedge which doesn't compost very well, so I bung it in here with all the garden waste, plus worm juice and, erm, wee. Basically I just let it take its time and see what comes out.
The main area of our garden is currently a building site following our home improvements, but when it is finished we'll have a bigger lawn and therefore plenty of grass clippings. I live in hope that the mixture of 'hot rotting' grass and the slower, woody privet will then provide the perfect mix for this heap.
You've probably guessed that I made it myself! This is the cheapest way to compost - all you need is one or two 1m x 1m x 1m containers made out of scrap wood or pallets. It used to be a twin bay system so I could turn one side into the other. Unfortunately half of it had to go to fit some scaffolding in during the work on the house. Looks like I've got another project on my hands...
BTW: the type of compost you produce in the garden is strictly speaking a 'soil improver' which will help with the structure of the soil, retain moisture and provide some plant food. It can't be compared with garden centre 'composts' which have additions of chemicals (N, P & K) to boost plant growth.