It’s at this time of the year I turn the compost heap to return some of the nutrients to the soil before autumn and winter sets in.
I’ve been making my own compost for a few years now and it never ceases to amaze me how garden waste turns into the most wonderful garden compost, with a lot of help from the bugs.
Everyone does it differently, but I like to keep three heaps on the go, transferring the compost from one to the other as it decomposes.
I don’t use any special techniques but I do tend to alternate layers of green waste with a layer of newspaper and cardboard, to keep the carbon levels up. I tend not to put too many grass clippings on my compost heaps, but the odd bucket full doesn’t hurt. To be on the safe side it’s worth mixing any grass clippings in with the rest of the heap.
If you layer the grass clippings, that’s when it tends to go slimey.
I try and keep the heap fairly square and flat so it all gets a good soak when the rain comes. I don’t add any artificial degrading compounds as I don’t think a well managed heap needs it.
To make great compost you’re going to need to :
- Keep it as warm as possible.
- About every 3 months give the heap a turn to allow the air to circulate.
- Throw a carpet over the heap to keep the heap warm (Create a safe haven for wild mice in the winter)
Just around the corner from where we live is a farmer that has turned part of his yard into a recycling plant and when you drive past you see the heat coming off the pile. His compost decomposes in no time, which suggests the more heat you can generate the heap will decompose.
I turn my compost about every 3 months, which seems work. The heap in these pics was started about 9 months ago and I’m now using it in my potting compost mix.
If you don’t already, try having a go at making your own compost, it’s easy and your plants will be very grateful.