Friday, May 29, 2009

The Compost Bin

There is something beautiful about a compost bin. Lift the lid and you see this:

lots of pink frantically wiggling worms.

There are usually more nestling in the lid. Often they fall off in clumps when I lift it. I think you will agree they are attractive little creatures, and very interesting. Furthermore, they do great work.

This is compost from the bottom of the compost bin that Hodmandod Senior is using to fill a raised bed. Since it was rich and dense he has mixed it with a few home-produced wood chippings. Now that we don't seem to need grass any more since Hodmandods Major and Minor are leaving or have left home we are thinking of doing a little horticulture.

(This post was initiated by reading that Cromercrox was installing his own Can O'Worms in Cromer.)


Blogger cromercrox said...

Ah, the Joy of Compost. I've discovered through trial and error that what you need for effective compost making is volume. Anything less than a cubic metre won't do. And you need plenty of air to get in, while keeping water out, the heat in.

That's why all the best compost heaps aren't twee fancy-schmancy plastic things, but cubes made from old pallets lashed together, vented at the sides, but covered with loads and loads of old carpets. At this time of year the raw material decays in nothing flat and generates heat you can feel with the palm of your hand an inch away from the surface. Smashing! I love compost.

Fri May 29, 08:12:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Good advice! Yes, I love it too - I was just thinking to day as I lifted the lid how strangely good it smells. For something covered in mould and full of worms and beetles, slugs and other insects this is strange.

Fri May 29, 10:33:00 pm  
Blogger Kay said...

Back to nature ... I feel a tangible panic at the thought of a concrete, plastic world where there's no longer any compost. Or worms. Thanks for this grounded, down to earth post! Love it. (Am going to pass this on to my sister's partner, who is into composting as well ...)

Sat May 30, 03:17:00 am  
Blogger BarbaraS said...

Wow, cromercrox sounds like they know their compost, noted with the pallets. You're a strange lot, you decay-dents!

Sat May 30, 10:24:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Heh, heh 'grounded' - good 'un - Kay! Yes, I'm finding Cromercox's postings very useful. I am trying to get my husband interested in the chickens (well, he is already - we just need to go that one step further and get the coop).

Heh, one day we will rule the world, Barbara - or the worms will.

Sat May 30, 02:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Gravity Gardener said...

Good info.. I find it pretty easy to compost once you are in the mindset that a lot of the fruit and vegetables you discard could easily be added to a compost box.

I created my compost bin from discarded 3x3 pallets. They worked out pretty well.

If anyone is interested, I added the steps and pictures of the process.

Happy Composting!

Sun Jun 07, 08:43:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Just taken a look. Very clear instructions! Thanks GG. Happy composting to you too.

Mon Jun 08, 04:44:00 am  
Blogger Jereme said...

You might want to be careful as far as adding wood chips to the compost either before or after composting. I recently read Gardening When It Counts and one of the things he says about wood chips in compost is that it locks up the nutrients in the compost until after wood has finished decomposing. Wood takes a long time to decompose; it has a very high C/N ratio.

Fri Sep 18, 02:40:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Hi Jereme, thanks for the information. It is certainly something to think about in the future. However, I think my husband just put the woodchips in there to add a little bulk and air rather than for the nurtrients. The compost, he felt, was rather too rich and heavy and needed fibre. Anyway, it's worked just fine - we had a fine crop of potatoes.

Fri Sep 18, 02:48:00 pm  

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