Tuesday, 21 August 2012

composting day

I decided that today was a good day to sort out the contents of the compost bin.  It has to be a fine warm day, with no sign of rain, because it usually takes me all afternoon to finish the job. You really don't want to get the compost wet while you are trying to shovel and sieve it, its a messy job at the best of times, and it wants to be warm because my bin is sited in the shade of the back garden wall and can get quite cool.
Rubber gloves and plastic apron on, I forked off the top layer of really nasty, slimey, rotting material into a spare container.  Luckily, I have the space for two compost bins so I can leave one to stew while filling the other one. The top half of material was pretty yucky, so I filled my spare bin to the top with that.


By this time I could slide the bin from off the more compacted stuff in the bottom half. Judicious use of spade and fork underneath the bottom edge of the bin, worked to lever the bin off.
I ended up with a giant pot pie of compost, and it really did look like compost! It was quite compacted, and with very few worms, which is a good sign. Not as fine as the compost you buy, because I put eggshells and twigs in and they never break down, but perfectly good for planting out and mulching.
I shovelled the remaining material through the rotasieve and finished up with three bags, three-quarters full ( I couldn't lift them if I filled them), of usable garden compost. Anything that wouldn't go through the sieve went back into the now empty compost bin.


(I forgot to change my shoes before I started, so I ended up with my best trainers caked with beautiful compost. The front room carpet didn't appreciate the beauty of it, though, as I walked in forgetting to remove shoes.)
A good job done and lots of lovely compost.

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