Compose some compost.

09 Nov

A topic that should, could, would, will, be on the top of every budding gardeners to do list.


Build it, fill it, turn it, empty it, spread it, burry it, plant in it. All that stuff.


Compost in the garden serves many, many useful purposes.  A natural weed barrier and a feed in one. All made from the comfort of your own home! Seriously useful stuff, right?!


So let us run through the stages/processes/fundamentals (Hence known as S.P.F) of having compost. Sound fun? Good! Get your note pad out and start taking notes. And no sleeping in class again, David!


S.P.F #1 – Obvious one. Have a suitable place and space to put your compost in the first place. Those plastic bins every garden centre tries to sell are…okay. If you only add a handful of grass and the odd orange peel once a week… In reality, for your avid gardener, they’re far too small and not accessible AT ALL for S.P.F reasons that’ll come later on. In short, the bigger, the better. Out of sight, because let’s face it, they aren’t really attractive. Preferable not near anything that could decide “Hey, that’s a swell place to grow”. In an ideal world, having a solid base is very handy too, that’ll mean when the compost is ready to use, you just use 100% certified compost and don’t mix in some general boring dirt with it. To maximise your composting making skills, if you can, make 2 bays. More is better, but you can get away with 2 easily. This just means that while one is full and nicely rotting and stewing, waiting to be used, you can fill the other up (Which you should have just emptied, perfect timing aye?) and get that ready for the following year.


S.P.F #2 – What to put into your compost piles. This one can be tricky. The obvious answer is everything you find in your garden. Unfortunately, as nice and simple as that would be, it’s not the answer. Grass, herbaceous cuttings, most leafs that have fallen off of trees, they’re all a-okay! Go ahead and chuck those in immediately. Things like weeds, seeds, acorns, too many twigs and large branches, and hedge trimmings are not okay. Weeds and seeds can just mean more work in the summer, as these may just stray growing in the spring and summer, eliminating that nice weed suppressant factor I mentioned earlier as well…there’s more weeds now. Hedge trimmings tend to get stiffer as they die off, Laurel is a good example of this.


S.P.F #3 You have to make sure you turn your compost every few months or so. This may seem like hard work, it’s extremely beneficial though. This step will ensure that your compost is the same quality throughout, and that no dry patches are formed. With the heat that all your decomposing stuff can kick out, the middle of the pile can get very, very dry, which will cause it to turn to dry grey coloured dust rather than nice dark compost we’re after. It’s not beneficial at all as there’s very little nutrients in it. It’s pretty simple work to be honest, a little bit of double digging refill where you dug previously, making the bottom go to the top and the top go to the bottom. Lovely compost will be yours.


If you nail all of those, after a year of festering, you should end up with some damn fine compost that’ll be perfect for adding around root balls of any flower or shrub you want to plant. Or it’s a great mulch to spread over the top of your beds for dual purpose use, weed suppressant and feed!


Happy composting everyone!


Written & posted by Stu.


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