Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Why I No Longer Make Compost

The compost fairy did not touch me with her chocolate-brown wand when I was born. I have trouble getting compost heaps hot enough, big enough, wet enough. Not being a particularly hefty person, I also have trouble finding the time, inclination and muscle to turn the heaps. So I have more or less given up on making compost.

Instead, I rely on animal-mediated sheet-mulching. Kitchen scraps go either to the guinea pigs or chickens, depending on the material. Used guinea-pig bedding (mainly dry grass clippings) goes onto any garden bed that appears to need mulch.

The real composting area is under the chook dome in my vegie patch. There the scraps and any other handy organic matter is mixed with chook poo, rainwater, and turned over energetically. Suddenly, compost appears, without my having done anything much. And I don't have to shovel it into position either!


teachingmum1970 said...

I'm still holding out hope for mine. Must add water however.

Chookie said...

Try poking air holes in the heap and pouring the water in that way. Alternatively, cover the heap with something semi-permeable (like old carpet), and remove it whenever rain or watering seems likely.

lightening said... compost so far is a big flop. I guess it's the lack of water....

But when I can buy a trailer load of compost for $75 (which filled one of my garden beds), I do wonder if it's even worth perservering.

Chookie said...

I suppose it depends on how many garden beds you have!