Our October Zoom meeting was presented by Kelvin Mason. His talk Composting and Recycling was very helpful to those who do make compost and those who are interested to try. The benefits are:
Saves money on fertiliser
Can be self sufficient in organic matter
Good soil improver
Good garden husbandry
Wood panels on bricks
Tumblers (can cost £300)
New Zealand box
Solid sides are better as they hold the heat better. Ideally the heap should be in sun or part shade and not under trees. Should be a cubic metre or larger and covered with carpet, woven plastic or metal. Have two bins if possible.
Building the heap
Use 50/50 green and brown waste and cut woody pruning into small pieces. The bottom of the heap can be started with 75 mm of prunings, sunflower or sweet corn stalks. Other things to include are kitchen peelings, fruit skins, old bedding, weeds, grass cuttings, paper, cardboard, hedge clippings, wool and cotton. Do not use infected matter.
Add activator every 25cm and turn the heap. This can be a bought product, comfrey or nettles, grass cuttings and horse manure.
Good compost should be dark brown, fine and crumbly with a sweet smell.
Ideas include reusing plastic seed trays and modules
Plastic meat trays and bottles
Jam jars as cloches
Net curtains as fleece
Bubble wrap to insulate greenhouse and insulate containers
Sheets of plastic to cover dug soil in winter
Margarine tubs to grow seedlings and mustard and cress
Lots of ideas then to use in our gardens and also help the environment.