Composter and Composting

My two compost bins have been pretty full for a while, and clearly not much was going on inside – plus I had a pile of material to go in.. So I started to look for a new additional compost bin to help with the situation and then started to look up composting in general. So, I discovered, there is hot composting – which can mean material is ready n less than a year – and there is cold composting, when material takes maybe a couple of years to compost.

It all seems to come down to aerating the pile – which with my existing bins was extremely difficult, and monitoring the temperature. Then I discovered there was such a thing as a ‘compost thermometer’, and also a compost mixer.

Well having had a look at my bins I could see they were certainly cold and not doing a lot of composting, so the amount of material to go in was just going to grow. So my composting technique wasn’t really the best – though I have produced reasonable amount in the past, the method could clearly be better.

So what to do? I bought a new bin, thermometer and mixer of course and they all turned up in the last couple of days so as today was fine and warm enough (10 degC while I was out and sunny) I spent some time putting the new bin together (not easy I might say), testing the temperature of my existing bins (cold!) and trying to mix them up with my new mixer – (not very successful until I took a lot out and put it in the new bin).

Here are some of the compost worms:

Worms on top of the compost when I took the lid off

Worms on top of the compost when I took the lid off

Now my pile of plants etc. waiting to be composted is all in the new bin plus a fair amount from the existing bins (complete with many worms etc.). I also managed to stir up the compost in the old bins – now we’ll see if they start to heat up – and I can check of course with my new thermometer.

New compost bin on the left, old one next to it - and an old water butt behind used to store stuff for composting that wouldn't fit in the old bins

New compost bin on the left, old one next to it – and an old water butt behind used to store stuff for composting that wouldn’t fit in the old bins

Other garden news was less constructive – I checked the tray of ‘The Sutton’ broad beans and found they had pretty much all gone mouldy and clearly weren’t going to grow. The other tray (??) seem to be ok though. So over the weekend I’ll need to sow some more beans then….

And there are other seeds to plant – so I hope the weather is ok – though most of the work is in the greenhouse.

 

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