Monday, 21 May 2012

Composting inside and out


Do you save all your kitchen scraps for composting ?  I do.  I used to have a small 'counter top' rather twee bucket to save peelings, tea bags, eggshells etc. it soon became clear this wasn't going to be big enough so I got myself this beast !

I think it was a bread bin originally, I got it from a bootsale for only 50p.  It lives in the cupboard under the sink and is much better than the small ones.  (Roughly translated that means I can't be bothered to keep running in and out of the house with tiny containers with just a couple of teabags and the peelings from one carrot and a potato !

To help fill it up I put in layers of newspapers, torn/cut up, at least two layers of them.  I tried shredded paper but it doesn't rot down very quickly and looks a mess in the garden, I don't have a cross shredder, just the one that produces long strings of paper.

On top of this I put a layer of tea bags, which I save separately, cut them into four and tip on top of the newspaper.  It's better to do this while the teabags are still wet, because the newspapers will soak up the moisture and rot down quicker.

I still have nightmares about the time my outside conmpost bin caught fire !!  It was when I lived in the country and had bought two of those green plastic upside down cone type bins, and had been filling and layering them for some time.
It was only when I noticed ribbons of grey smoke spiralling up outside the living room window that I realised what was happening.  The heap must have overheated (don't know how) and by the time I got outside it had just about burst into flames !  I didn't know compost could burn - but it did.
I never used those bins again, nor would I use any plastic compost bins now.

This is my (frugal) compost heap now, it consists of four wooden stakes or poles, I think a couple of these are just old broom handles, wrapped around with chicken wire - it does the job.

I've just tipped in some grass cuttings, and the remainder of the brassicas from the veggie beds.

As you can see I don't have much space, it's just tucked into a corner by the side of the garage.  I don't turn my compost.  I think the best compost is on the floor of forests and woods and they don't get turned.  So I take a leaf out of Mother Nature's book, and add loads of leafmould along with all the other stuff and leave it to do it's own thing.  The worms do a great job. I had to lift four small slabs to put the compost on top of bare earth, which will have to be replaced if I ever find somewhere cheaper to live !
When I want some compost I just move the fresher stuff to one side to get at the useable stuff at the bottom, apart from that it's left well alone.

take care peeps ..........

1 comment:

  1. I was interested to read this post as we have two huge compost bins. I nag weekly for my hubby to turn the compost but he never does!! I need it turned so it will drop down a level a bit as I put woodchips and chicken poo on it and if its not turned it just sits there in a huge heap! I didn't realise though that the comfpost will do perectly well on its own.



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