David P's Composting Tips:
David says: "I was astonished at the material in the trailer at the last mini working bee. Much of the material was clean vegetable stems, leaves, and fruit. I managed to get two wheelbarrows full of broad bean plants, just pulled out, and on their way to the trailer. It went straight into my compost bin, along with other material collected from around my garden beds. You need to get some volume into the bin fairly quickly to start the process.
My bin in recent weeks has had the following added
Vegetable peelings from home
Spent cut flowers
Deadheaded flowers from roses and other plants around my villa.
Weeds pulled from lawn and garden beds (without developed seeds)
Saw dust from workshop
Vacuum cleaner contents from car and workshop
Manure fresh horse
Manure dried poultry
Fruit partly eaten by insects or birds
Sweeping of concrete paths around garden beds
What I didn’t put in was
Weeds with developed seeds
Diseased plant material
Fruit affected by fungal disease
Leaves with evidence of fungal infection
Hard wood prunings
Meat, fish, dairy or fat
Our sandy soil needs to be enriched with as much organic material as possible. Digging in well composted compost is one of the best soil conditioners available. It requires a little work to work the material in your bin, but the effort is worthwhile. Just putting a heavy mulch on top of a garden bed is not as effective, and actually wastes much of the goodness of the rotting process to the atmosphere. Fresh material that is full of seeds promotes weeds.
Turn over the compost material regularly, adding as you go, with the compost reducing in volume. Water regularly to keep the material just damp. There are three compost turners in the sheds, providing an easy way to keep the process going.
When the composting process is completed, the worms tend to gather around the top of the bin looking for fresh material."
Composting Made Easy
Browns = High Carbon
Stems and twigs, shredded
Greens = High Nitrogen
Weeds that have not gone to seed, perennial running weeds, like kikuyu and couch grass. Or bulbous weeds such as oxalis and onion weed. The heap won't get hot enough to kill them and they'll re-sprout and cause problems later.