Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Power House

Wednesday was a better day so I decided on a visit to the plot to sort out the allotment power house although it’s an area that doesn’t appear in plot photographs very often.
I refer of course to our compost bins which aren't very photogenic whichever side they’re photographed from but form an important part of the recycling process for dead plant material.
These were the two sections I wanted to sort out. The one on the left is all our dead plant material from last autumn and this summer. Some material has also been added to the right hand section if the left hand side has been full. It’s amazing how much a heap of compost shrinks as it decays. I’m not the best compost maker in the world and never manage to turn the heaps every month or so or whatever the recommendation is. Material doesn’t really get sorted out and mixed up as recommended either it just gets dumped into the bins as it’s cut down or pulled up out of the plot. The only exception is grass clippings which I do try to mix in to stop them becoming a slimy smelly layer. I’d describe myself as a lazy compost maker.
This is the result of 12 months of composting once the side of the bin has been moved out of the way for easier access. I didn’t think it looked all that promising but my idea was to move all the material that hadn’t yet rotted into the bin on the left, spread any good compost onto the plot and then move everything back into this section. This would then be left to do its thing until this time next year.
Once the top layers of un-composted material had been removed there was some pretty decent stuff to spread on the plot. I managed a dozen barrows full of well rotted compost from this heap.
Once all the compost had been barrowed onto the plot everything was moved back into the bin on the right of the picture.The left hand bin is empty and ready for filling up with the next 12 months of fresh composting material. I’m tempted to cover the full heap with weed control fabric to try to control the weeds a little bit. This part of the plot suffers from bindweed not the easiest of weed to keep under control. This will now be left for 12 months to finish the composting process.

Now all I’ve got left to do is to sort out the three similar sized bins that are full of composted material produced from all the weeds that have been removed.


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