It’s been a while since I’ve posted here – well over two years in fact. I got discouraged by the fact that this blog doesn’t get a whole lot of traffic, but on the other hand, it’s actually quite useful to me personally as a reminder of which jobs to do when. So I’m dusting it off and starting again.
One of the first jobs of my gardening year is to turn the compost heap. In the past, this has happened as early as the end of February but in recent years spring has been slow in getting off the ground, so here we are in late March and I just got the compost heap done yesterday. It’s a job that involves donning some builder’s gloves, lifting our “Dalek” away, and putting the newer material at the top of the heap into buckets. Once you get further down (see below), everything starts to get all gungy and the worms are hard at work. Those feathery things you can see in the pic on the left are in fact, feathers. They’re from an old down-filled pillow that had got so dirty I decided to jettison it and buy a memory foam replacement. Feathers will rot down quite happily in a compost heap, as will wool and human hair. All three of these are made from protein so they are a source of nitrogen.
The picture on the right shows the same pile of partially rotted compost from a bit further away. It’s at the stage where there is one last layer to remove before you hit the really well-rotted stuff at the bottom. Once I’d reached this well-rotted stuff, I used a spade to transfer it to the hole to the left of the heap. There were several large buckets worth. I then covered the hole with a couple of black sacks weighed down with flower pots, bits of wood etc. This was for two reasons: (1) to help provide a nice warm environment for more composting to take place, and (2) to stop the local cats from using the compost as a toilet.
I put the Dalek back in its original place and refilled it with all the newer stuff that I’d put into buckets. Job done.