Compost, Compost, Compost!

by David Murray

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This is only my second year of trying to work out what to do with my new long thin garden. The only bare earth is a long 30-inches deep border that is in the shade for all but a couple of hours in a day, giving me plenty of opportunity to indulge my love of hostas. The other side of it, however, is paved up to a high south-facing stone wall and gets anything up to ten hours of sun. The challenge there is to work out how best use containers and to ensure an adequate supply of water during the hot summer that we’re hoping for here in Northern England. So yesterday I was working on the watering system, about which more in a later post.

Amazon ImageToday though, I’m thinking about compost. In our previous house we had the system worked out well with a large lawn to provide chopped greenery, lots of shrubs to supply woody material and kitchen vegetable, tea bag and eggshell waste to supplement the mixture. Between them the large double wood and wire compost bin away from the main body of the garden gave me an excellent annual supply of beautiful crumbly compost. In a very different situation I now have to work out how best to do the same on a smaller scale and with a serious shortage of space. I don’t want to spend on a tumbler bin so I think it’s probably going to be a standard plastic compost bin and some manual stirring. The example illustrated here is the Sankey 4169 Ecomax Compost Bin with Door.

Composting Alternatives International

This morning I came across a great American blog devoted solely to the subject of compost: http://crazyaboutcompost.com. It’s a site worth exploring.

Although in detail there may be differences between the two sides of the Atlantic there’s more commonality than difference. The video below, about composting kitchen waste contains useful advice wherever you are in the world. (Although, come to think of it, I’m not sure about composting in northern Greenland!)

The Bokashi Compost System

Continuing to think internationally I also spotted an interesting article on the Huffington Post:

The Bokashi system, with its … “origins in Korea and now used in Japan for 30 years offers an option for the sustainable disposal of food waste. … One advantage of the Bokashi system is that it can break down foods like meat, fish and dairy products that not only give off a rancid smell, but take a long time to break down. If done correctly, Bokashi can result in compost in as little as two weeks, depending on the local climate and soil biology.
Read more here.

This is a new one to me. I’ve always kept meat, fish and dairy products well away from the compost heap. But it’s worth looking into as a top-up to existing mainstream composting.


Three Useful Books on Composting

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Related posts:
Composting Autumn leaves – “This Year’s Leaves … Next Year’s Mulch”
More on Gardening Techniques


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