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    Categories: The Eco Garden

Quick & easy composting

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You can never have too much compost. Organic materials mixed into your soil will improve structure, balance drainage and increase nutrients. Bacteria and other friendly soil dwelling creatures such as earthworms will also benefit from compost as a mulch (left on the surface), or partially dug in.

Mulching with compost

Mulching with compost is a great way to lock moisture into the soil during the dry summer months and will also help, to a certain degree to suppress weeds. Some perennial roots system will be glad of a mulch to protect them from the extremes of the British weather.

If you suffer from poor soil; too heavy in clay, or too light with sand, you will benefit from the introduction of compost.

So why would you not want to get as much as you can for your garden? Every year you faithfully mow your lawn, cut your hedges, and deadhead your flowers. What happens to the waste? You could put it all in the ‘green-bin’ and wave goodbye to it on collection day. Alternatively, use all of your garden and kitchen waste to super-charge up a compost revolution.

If you are using kitchen waste, you must make sure that you don’t add anything cooked as it may encourage pests such as rats and mice. Also, don’t add meat or any form of animal waste for obvious reasons.

Essential Composting equipment

Composting Bays

So, what will you need to start off your compost? You can get by with a few wooden palettes nailed together if you have got space. I would suggest you build 3 or more ‘bays’ and rotate the contents of each, from one to the next on weekly intervals and cover each bay with a piece of old carpet to keep rain water out and heat in. Doing this will increase the activity of composting bacteria and produce compost in as little as a month. This is an excellent method if you are lucky enough to have a large garden or allotment on which large quantities of organic waste are produced.

Another method would be to purchase a compost bin. They don’t produce as much compost, and will take a little longer to break organic matter down. They take up very little ground and are great for small to moderately sized gardens.

James Middleton :An obsessive gardener since 1982. Day-time job - web designer and developer and University lecturer.