Saturday, 12 February 2011

Messing about with compost

Today I have been mostly.....messing about with compost. I emptied bin number two and bagged up approx. 180 litres of good stuff. That's about 320 litres of humus-rich compost from the two daleks and I’ve yet to start on the open heap and the leaf mould. I like to leave the open heap till last as it is a refuge for frogs and hedgehogs during the winter and they are good to have around the garden to eat slugs.

The unrotted material from both bins is now all in one with some partly rotted seaweed and other stuff to start the whole process off again. I add a couple of scoops of chicken manure pellets every now and then to speed things up a bit.

Last November I mulched round the fruit trees with compost but that has all disappeared into the soil so I added some more to keep down some of the weed growth as well as nourish the soil.

In the afternoon I riddled some of the compost to make some of my potting mix for the containers. I know it’s still a bit early for planting/sowing most things but I like to have everything ready for the big push when it comes. Perhaps I should add that gardening is the only aspect of my life where I’m anything like organized before you get the idea that I might be suffering from OCD.

I  have made my own seed compost in the past but it's a bit of a faff and unless everything is sterilized you always get weeds and the chance of disease so I've bought some this year. It's a Westland John Innes no. 1 and seems to be excellent quality with no lumps or twigs in it.

The plot is far too wet to do anything with but there is plenty to do elsewhere. When I was cleaning pots and containers a little while ago I forgot about the grow sacks and polypots that I’d had potatoes in last year. As they’ll have tatties in again this year I washed and disinfected them all and pegged them on the washing line to drain. The neighbours should have got used to seeing odd things in my garden by now!

I didn't think anyone would be interested in pictures of compost so I've included one to show what happens when we get very high tides round here. This happens at several points along the road and makes driving a bit tricky unless you're in a tractor.

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