Tuesday 8 February 2005
Well, I have my new composter – purchased for £15 under a local council initiative to encourage home recycling, and complete with a free kitchen scraps bucket with lid. How handy.
The composter is now in position behind the shed, and I’ve put in three or four buckets full of garden waste, leaves, spent compost and a few twigs to open it up a bit. I’m not above "cheating" at this compost malarkey, so I’ll nip down to the farm later and invest the princely sum of £1 in a sack of farm manure to shove in there – it’ll hasten the rotting process by increasing the temperature in the bin, as well as providing nitrogen for the hungry little pathogens busy breaking down all the lignin in the leaves and stems.
From now on it is just a case of being disciplined and making sure that all kitchen vegetable matter goes in, as well as a medium amount of grass cuttings (too much will ruin the structure and turn it into horrid slime) and any other garden trimmings and waste (not too much woody stuff as it takes too long to rot, but some as it helps keep it open and allows air to those pathogens). I’ve set myself the challenge of showing that it is cheap and easy to make decent garden compost (not to mention environment-friendly) – in fact, I intend to prove it so conclusively that Gordon is convinced of the merits and starts his own in order to convert his sticky clay garden into something more usable (he’ll need grit too, but I’m not going to start a quarry just to prove a point – a builders’ merchants will do the job better).