Most people have a compost heap or bin in their gardens more often an eyesore than a functional thing of beauty. I love my compost bins and use them constantly to recycle and return nutrients to the soil. Some people don’t compost at all and that I find quite shocking.
What is garden composting?
It is the most rewarding and exciting part of horticulture. Recycling unwanted garden and kitchen waste into a free nutrient rich soil improver and mulch. There are some basic rules to follow that will unravel the mystery.
Choose your area and container
The wooden slatted made to measure compost bins are my recommendation and they look nice too, make up a group of three somewhere accessible and perhaps under a tree in a shady corner of the garden. Plastic bins can be obtained free from the council but are a little trickier to negotiate and don’t look so attractive. Many other systems are available whatever the size of your garden.
Too many grass cuttings are the downfall of most compost systems, they just become a squidgy mess that is anaerobic, wet and stinky.
Layer grass cuttings with leaves, cardboard, non-perennial weeds, cut up perennials and green prunings, kitchen waste such as fruit and vegetable peelings, pet bedding etc
Try to avoid cooked foods such as meat, fish and bread products as these can attract vermin.
Add a nitrogen compost activator such as chicken manure, horse manure or a compost activator available in all garden centres. This is important as nitrogen is used up in the composting process.
Ensure it is not too wet or too dry as this will halt the process. Water in dry weather and add dry product like shredded paper or straw to absorb the wetness in grass clippings.
Air is needed so all the micro-organisms and worms can get to work so ensure the grass clippings are layered with dry material or the heap is moved from one bay to another.
Compost that is suitable to use everywhere in the garden as a soil improver, mulch and even potting. I plant my full bins with courgettes for the Summer so no square inch of garden is wasted!
I can spend half a day in your garden identifying your plants and teaching you how to look after them. I can even help you set up a composting area.
Cathie’s Garden Army
If you have lost control of your garden completely we are here to help! A qualified team of horticulturists can transform your garden in a day following a consultancy. Please ask for details.