This is a view of a corner in my Yorkshire garden that shows some recycling activity. I have tried various compost bin methods over the years. Initially I started with an open pile which was untidy and slow. At about this time I acquired a shredder which chopped up brown twiggy waste but only squelched leaves.
I graduated to a wooden frame compost bin structure the remnants of which are showing next to the dustbin. This was fine particularly when I used ‘garrotta’ as a speed enhancer but as the volume of compostables grew the space needs also grew. (The more compost I had the more the plants grew and thus the more compost I got until Les Barker made a song out of it).
Thermo Plastic Bins
- Now the latest incarnation is the thermo plastic green bins. One is always in current use and the other is rotting down older compost. The volume reduction continues for about six months.
- This has been a good investment in terms of conversion speed, heat generation in the pile and crumbly results.
- I leave the lid open occasionally to increase the dampness.
- Despite using hard standing the big bins twist as they fill and the double split lids do not work very well.
- The bottom half is separately hinged so in theory you can extract compost from the bottom as it rots. I find it is too solid and prefer to empty the bin in total. Coarse bits can start off the new bin.
Other Compost Corner Items
- The black plastic bin is used for leaves and slow to compost items that will take a couple of years to rot down. I sacrifice pure leaf mold for composting coarser items.
- The burner dustbin with air holes and chimney was used for burning far more before the plastic bins came into use. Now I tend to put bits of trash, old labels, broken pots etc in this bin as I work near the compost bins.
- The blue lid in the fore front is a local authority recycling bin that is the 4th they have supplied and is now superfluous to my needs. Now I recollect there were also two other bins one now buried to make a second pond and one converted into a potato barrel.
- The bird feeders and brush speak for themselves.
- The wheelbarrow is full of recycled seed and potting compost mixed with perlite. This will be used up on some pot plants after adding some granular fertiliser.
- There is a tub of grit and gravel which I plan to use but never get around to doing so.
Tips based on Looking Back
- Heat is key to quick compost. It is increased by air so fork or turn the pile.
- In days gone by I creosoted the fence see above. Keep chemically treated matter away from an organic compost heap.
- There is a sense of achievement by creating and using good compost. It is worth the effort and beats taking everything to a landfill tip.
- Hedges grow and in my case have created a rain shadow and trimming problem.