Update on my compost making
Bit of a disaster here at compost-making smug-central.
I wrote in my last blog Making Compost – it’s so easy about how I just chuck everything in a big container and in time out comes lovely crumbly compost.
Oh no it doesn’t.
I have four compost containers. The two wooden beehives reliably make good compost if I put in a mixture of garden waste, food waste and cardboard. They are built for the purpose and do a good job.
My new Ciskotu Expandable Composter from Amazon seems to be doing OK and I’ll give it another 4 months before I dig down to see what’s going on at the bottom.
My fourth pile was in a huge green bag which I filled with the usual mix.
When I started to stir it around I found a slimy, twiggy, brown sludgy soup devoid of air and with hardly any worms.
Would it have made compost eventually?
It would have decomposed over time as everything does but in the short term it was sitting there like a bad-tempered casserole refusing to mix in nicely. Although I had made holes at the bottom of the bag, there clearly wasn’t enough drainage and not enough air circulating. Living organisms need air.
If a pile is too wet or too dry it doesn’t work to make compost. Not an exact science but it does need you to keep an eye on the heap.
Compost as a wildlife habitat
I emptied out the contents and stuffed it into jute bags meant for leaves. I’ve tucked the bags into a corner and over time everything will decompose even if I don’t use the result as compost.
The bags will be a lovely cosy habitat for all kinds of creatures vital to the life of a garden. I love to have messy patches and wild undisturbed corners even in a small town garden.
Composting waste from a coffee kiosk
My latest wheeze is collecting bags of used coffee grounds and squeezed half oranges from the coffee kiosk at the end of our road.
Time will tell is this has been a good idea or not.
Lastly I cringe at how bossy I was about adding all your package cardboard. I didn’t bother to tear mine up. It created a slimy layer like the sweaty processed cheese slice in a cheeseburger (yum) and there was far too much of it. I had a huge pile of muddy cardboard too dirty to recycle.
I tore it into small pieces and added it to all three bins. I’ll use it up over the winter bit by bit.
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Happy gardening now and into 2022.