Thursday, 2 May 2013

Composting - [updated]

Decision time.

Kirsten obtained this compost bin from our previous municipal council - for free! I think I started piling 'stuff' into it toward the end of our first week in our new house, which was three months ago yesterday. In my head, I have declared this bin-full done. But what do I do now? I have been reading up the Willoughby Council site for tips on styles of composting. I think I want something easier for me to 'turn' which does not imply a tumble-bin. Not at all. I think I want a three-sided pit, but in its absence, I think I will have one unencumbered. This image was taken a few weeks ago when I totally restacked the compost. I think it is looking quite good, but I need to stop putting kitchen scraps in and just let it 'fester' for a bit. I will leave it open to the air, turn it, water it, and put a tarp over it, until the end of June, then declare it 'cooked'. In the compost bin, I will start my second heap. Decision made. Shall do all this on Saturday.

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So, 'tis done. I removed the bin from the pile and re-established it about 2m away, loading the top 6" from the first compost as starter into this new batch, with dried leaves on top, and a sprinkling of kitchen scraps on top of that. Shall add soil, and some moisture tomorrow.

The compost I made - my first ever - is very 'short', perhaps half the bin, but I guess that is the result of the chemical reaction of all the ingredients. It was riddled with worms, and I wanted to use it on the 'orchard' straight away. However, management wants more time to work on the shape of the veggie garden SANS stinky-poo compost beside him. I have covered the nearly-ready compost with a tarpoline and shall turn it, twice a week. I would like to use it sometime towards the end of June. It looks very nutritious.


head in the sun said...

I don't really follow the rules when it comes to compost.
As with most things I go with the vibe of things.
That's helpful, isn't it?
I've tried a million different mulches and composts.
With that pile - I'd put that straight onto my beds and dig it in and let it rot in the soil.
I'm also a big fan of sheep poo.
It's a mild poo and not too stinky and the plants seem to love it.
You can get a few weeds from it though - but that is par for the course.
Got any sheep in your neighbourhood?!

Julie said...

Yeah, quite a few, but most people refer to them as 'blokes'.

I go with the vibe of things with compost, too, even though I read up on it like mad, then I just do what I reckon, and go with what I have. I am awaiting that book on citrus, before I purchase my orchard.

The bloke across the road has 7 chooks in a pen and doesn't reallyuse the sweepings-out because his garden is au-natural ... a mess really. He describes himself as the 'hoarder from hell'. I will get a couple of bags-full of chook-poop from him to get me started.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Ah ha. I made a reply on my blog when you were rabitting on about litter that you should have a compost heap. I reckon the little bins are only really good for kitchen scraps ... it keeps the rats out. Other compost is best in a big pile and like Lettie when we had a gardener he swore by sheep poo, I have heard chicken poo can be a bit overpowering so you will need to compost it for a while.

I swear by letting the leaves and stuff fall on the garden beds and composting there. My Mum used to just dig a hole in the garden and dump the kitchen scraps in there and when it filled up go dig another hole.

Julie said...

Ahh ,... queenslanders are a breed apart, Joan.

I will try the chook droppings as they are about the right price ... trade for tomatoes ...

Rosemary said...

My mother swore by chicken manure. She used it liberally. Her green thumb was well known in the neighbourhood.

Julie said...

I suspect either chook or sheep would cut the mustard ... as I mentioned I have a compost serving ready to dish out, and a worm farm about to be delivered.