Compost Guide P4

Garden compost – Five Steps To Making Really Useful Functional Compost

We here at Kentcare want to tell you how to make the best garden compost heap so that it will smell nice and sweet and do wonders for your garden or business premises- well, maybe not “smell” exactly “nice” but you will get our meaning!

Step Four: Managing the heap in to compost

If you have kept up a topping up routine before long your heap should be gradually become full.

Obviously if you have a large garden you may be turning your heap every fortnight, but rest assured, the principles are the same for postage stamp or stately home, small premises or rolling business park.

The composting process should have begun and the heap should have heated and cooled by now and be ready to turn.

This is hard but it may be useful to introduce your mixing base, or second compost bin. You can use a big tarpaulin but it will get messy and smelly so don’t use a camping ground sheet!

Fork the material from one bin to the other, or drag it all out, mix it about and throw it back in. It can be useful mixing it with some chipped waste or even shredded paper if the compost is a little sloppy. If it looks a little dry, have a watering can handy and give it a sprinkle from time to time. The need for the right consistency will be explained later.

I feel this is also a good place to discuss the merits or otherwise of compost accelerators.

Composting can be problematic enough without limitations before you start; so use them, carefully.

You can buy many sorts of chemical and organic accelerators but they all do more or less the same thing which is help to feed the bacteria (more of which later) which actually make the compost (and you thought it was you).

Human urine can be used depending on your attitude to the hygiene issues that may be forthcoming! The urea breaks down and reactivates the composting process, it will not make the compost heap smell any worse and could eventually make sweet-smelling flowers come up better. Given that an average flush of the lavatory can use anything from five to nine litres of equivalent treated drinking water each time, less water wasted is an extra bonus! Perhaps best to check with the office before you add your “personal liquid input” to a shared communal compost bin!

Anyhow, add the accelerator at this stage.

Now when all the material is back in its home in the bin, nicely moistened and fed and the lid secured down, you can relax and enjoy life.

The compost should feel warm on its lid to the touch but a simple test is for a bamboo cane to be eased down the middle and withdrawn easily, leaving a slightly warm greasy residue. This means that the consistency is about right. Too wet, means add some more shredded matter, too dry means a little more water. If you are unsure, repeat the turning process and accelerator application.


Compost Guide P5