Compost Heaps -
You can just let the compost sit there and rot but it will not make good compost quickly. If you want to speed the process up and get out some good compost to add to your soil and raised beds, now is a good time to do it.
I have two heaps for composting on the allotment, stored in a large 'compost bin' built from wooden pallets that we were given. Now is a good time of year to get access to the compost that I have and to also turn over the materials that are still composting.
Oddly it is a task that I enjoy doing, as by now I have enough experience to be able to look at the heap and know what to do with it.
This week I have emptied one compost bin and used the finished compost at the bottom of the pile for adding to the raised beds. Any twiggy bits and not yet composted items got chucked back in to make the start of the new heap. I also add some of the good stuff with the worms back into the new compost heap to give it a good start. Then I can start wok on the other bin and reap the benefits of the compost from that while adding the ingredients that need a bit more time to convert into the other bin. I am doing the compost heap a favour by turning it as I do this sorting process and it also incorporates air to the 'what was layers'.
Good compost does not smell and when it is ready the little red worms have usually left it to work on the next lot that needs converting. When I say it does not smell, I mean good compost is not stinky and does smell unclean. It smells in the way that the soil does after rain, which I quite like.
As I am putting the compost back into a heap I try to remember the principle of layering it. So if I think it needs more carbon layers I would add some to the new stack that I am building. carbons are also called browns while the nitrogen ones are called greens but this does not necessarily denote the colour of the items it is a reference to nitrogens and carbons in general.
List of some of the items I could add to the compost bin that are carbon rich -
- dead dry leaves ( but they do compost slowly and make a great leaf mulch)
- paper and cardboard.
Off now to turn that compost heap.