10 May 2016

May 2016

Organic Gardening is fantastic, not only do you get enormous pleasure from growing things and enjoy the benefits of fabulous highly nutritious tasty food, you also get a regular workout making Hot Compost.

I keep my green organic waste in a small compartment next to the main bay in my current version of a compost heap.  The dry brown material is collected in an open space alongside.  Here the heap has just been combined, with alternate 100mm layers of green and brown (dry) kitchen and garden waste.

To supplement my collection of green waste, I have added 2 bags of cow manure and a few handfuls of dynamic lifter (pelletised chicken manure) and blood and bone fertiliser.  Most of my browns are from spent sugar cane mulch, but I added a bale of fresh mulch to make up the volume this time.

As the heap is built, water is added till the material is moist but not ringing wet.

The heap is ready to go.

I cover the heap to reduce evaporation and to stop it soaking if it rains.  The multilayer reflective tarpaulin helps insulate the heap and compensate for a lower than optimal volume.

After 3 days, the heap has started to warm up, and needs to be turned inside out and aerated.  I remove the whole heap from the bay throwing the material up in the air to aerate it , and I do the same thing as I return the materials afterwards.

I put material from the outside of the heap in one pile and material from the inside in another pile.  When I return the materials, I reverse their positions.

This process is repeated every 2nd day 5 more times, and then the pile is left for at least 5 days to mature before being used in the garden.   The process is very quick (18 days), gets hot enough to kill plant pathogens and kills unwanted seeds.  The heap is rich in beneficial microorganisms, nutrients and humus.  I use a lot of it in my small garden, but I don't add any other fertilisers to my soil.