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compost bins
compost heap
cement base
tidiness
heat loss
organic gardening
heaps
Good Compost Bins
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Good Compost Bins

If you are reading this you are a human being, and the stress here is on the word “being”. So often in our modern life we are human doings, that is we are all up and doing something all the time. We very rarely be. In relation to our organic gardening actives that ‘ up and at it’ attude can be fatal. To a certain extent, we must let or gardens be and that is never more so, if we are trying to do the job in any form of organic method.

Take compost, there is something very natural about this; the heap just lies there and ‘is’, nothing going on, so to speak. This is good. Leave your compost heap to ‘be’ for a year and the rewards are much better then anything that you can image (garden wise that is).

To make a good compost heap you do have to do something but that is only to get the heap stated. There is a right way and a wrong way to make compost. Lets talk about the best way.

Heaps of garden material that is just left in the open rarely decay thoroughly because the outsides of the heap do not heat up and turning is necessary to bring the sides and ends to the middle. It is far better to use a compost box if you have a small garden, as it stops the heat loss from the sides and it keeps the heap looking tidy.

The many slatted or wire mesh containers made like incinerators have only the merit of tidiness as they let the material dry and cool so that it never gets really hot.

If it is possible to make a brick dived box with their open end fitted with a removable wooden front, but without a cement base. That would be the best.

You could also make the compost box out of wood and they could well last for fifteen years or more. Compost pits are useless, as they not only exclude air but hold water in the winter. If you use corrugate iron or asbestos, you will get very poor heat insulation.

The site of the compost heap should be sheltered as this could be in dry shade under trees or in the shade of a shed. If the heap is out of the rain then it will need watering in dry weather.

When you have got your compost box ready then is time to start filling it up with organic material. Most heaps will take weeks to fill up. But do not worry, the heap is working, you just need to keep adding material until the bin is full and then you start your other bin and let the first one ‘be’ for a few months.

A sign that you heap is ready and that it has turned into good compost is a faint earthy smell and the material should be dark brown or black with a crumbly texture.

I spread mine on the top of the soil in my raised beds; a bucketful or two to a square yard is a good measure.

Autumn heaps are ready to use in the spring and spring made compost can be used from mid-summer onwards.

The secret in compost making is to have two or three well made bins and just keep adding organic matter to one of them and let the others alone for a couple of months


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