Monday, April 13, 2009

Compost frenzy part 1

Easter weekend is the biggest gardening/DIY weekend of the year and I decided to spend it this year sorting out my composting arrangements.

First I had to empty the various containers - worm bin, food waste bin and garden waste bay. Chucking food scraps, envelopes and cardboard into heaps and bins and waiting for nature to do its thing is the easy bit - it is back breaking work shovelling the resulting compost out, sieving it to take out bits of plastic, and then carting it to where you need it.

You can buy sieves for compost but, before I found my proper one, I found that an old wire shopping basket does the trick nicely. This is my food waste compost - the worm bin produces much darker, richer compost (and liquid plant food), but it works on much smaller volumes. My garden waste compost was, frankly, rubbish - too much privet, not enough moisture - more on that in part 2.

I used the compost as a mulch on our front flower bed. It sets off the plants a treat and will also release nutrients into the soil, suppress weeds and retain moisture. Some say it also protects against disease.

More on the new arrangements in Part 2...

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