May 23

Making compost where you need it

Each autumn I start to run out of space in my compost bins and so make it on the beds. I choose one which needs a bit of oomph and pin down a wire basket. The beds that I put them on this time had had rhubarb on them for about 15 years and I have removed it because they harbour slugs which then crawled out from under the leaves and decimated whatever else I had planted in the bed.

I then fill up the bin which doesn’t take long at that time of year as the summer crops are being removed. I do layer with green, brown and manure, watering in between each layer just because I want this to rot down quickly. The bin was full in November but reduces down to about half 5 – 6 months later. There is usually plenty of nettles and comfrey which act as compost activator and help speed the process up. I don’t chop things up so I am sure if I did that it would be quicker and not quite so rough but I just don’t have the time at the point when I am building them.

Yesterday, I lifted the cage off the compost and spread it out over the bed. it took 5 minutes and there was no wheelbarrowing the compost from one part of the plot to another so was quick and easy. The compost is fairly rough and ready but does the job. I then planted squash plants – some of which have already been chewed by slugs!