Tuesday, 10 May 2016

3 week compost

Well, today brought a nice surprise! Flashback to 18th April when Mr J cut the grass in the paddock and I created a new compost heap in a metal hoop made from stock fencing wire.
We layered grass clippings with brown material to the depth of about two and half to three feet.  You can read about it here - 'Cut and compost again'I had intended to turn the heap a few times to add air to it to encourage swift decomposition, but we didn't get a chance to do it because we were busy elsewhere on the smallholding. Mr J and I have watered the compost heap regularly with the water from the ducks' pond and water buckets, so it has had some attention, just not as much as I would have liked.
This afternoon, after the heavy rain had stopped, I thought that if I didn't do something with it, it would stop composting and turn to stinky sludge, which I really don't want to use in our new vegetable beds. We have managed to acquire a couple more pallets (by asking nicely at the local farmer's store and builder's merchants), so they became the sides of the new compost heap. We are already using the compost from our first two heaps in our raised beds, so it is the ideal time to move the location of the compost heaps to the other side of the paddock to be nearer the raised beds.
So, with three pallets strapped together to form a U shape, Mr J and I lifted the wire hoop from around the compost heap that we made on 18th April.

The plan was to put the driest and least composted material in the base of the new heap and the remainder of the partially decomposed heap on the top of it and then water and cover it to allow it to continue to decompose and hopefully in another month or two, it would be ready to use in the garden. But things didn't go quite according to plan because once I cut into the heap with the spade and removed the outer edges and top layer, I found that the centre of the compost heap was, well, compost!
A bit stunned (and delighted) by what we were seeing I dug through it a little and although we can still see a layer of soil and coffee grinds, it is for all intent and purposes ready to use!

 So that's it, rich, dark, sweet smelling compost in just 23 days!

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  1. That's so fast! I can't believe what good quality it looks so quickly!!

    1. It seems that I got the proportion of green to brown material right for this one!


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