Monday, December 7, 2009

Compost building and keys to the shed (hurrah!)

I'm as happy as punch.  Why? well, I built a compost heap!

I meant to stick it down in the corner, but it's become clear that the corner bed is probably going to be the last bed I weed, and so in yesterday's inspired hangover haze I thought I'd establish one at the end of the concrete path, next to the rhubarb and the tap.

I dragged away the 'compost bin', which according to my vegie gardening teacher will not generate enough heat to be a 'hot' pile ie, one that kills weed seeds. Supposedly, a hot pile has to be at least 1m cubed, something that those black containers definitely aren't.  You can see a picture of the bin on the chosen bed in the pre-tomato staking photo below. 

the bin is in the top right hand corner

At the bottom of the semi-full bin was some nice compost-in-working, so i used that as my base.  There were some mega worms in the compost, and an (ick) cockroach.  You don't usually see many cockroaches in Tassie, compared to where I grew up in Sydney.

After my layer of old compost, I started applying some of the lesson in compost from the vegie garden course.  I'm not sure if I got the components right, but off the top of my head, it seemed right at the time.   I dragged out a heap of old newspapers (luckily I drink too much beer to have room for newspapers in the recycling bin), and shredded them, wetting them as I went.  I still haven't acquired a hose and adapter for the conveniently located tap, so I used my dodgy watering can that I picked up off the side of the road on throw out day, and watered each later of paper.  Then I dragged over one of the boxes of weeds that I had sitting in the garden.   I can't believe now that I've been throwing out entire bins of weeds week after week to go into landfill.  The cardboard box then got shredded and soaked, with tiny creatures streaming out of the corrugated interiors.  lastly, another box of weeds was added to the pile, and I wet the entire pile once more.

While you can probably see that the compost has layers, they're not very even, mostly because it's a heap rather than an enclosed layerd pile.  I'm thinking of getting some chicken wire to enclose it.

The second exciting thing that happened to me on the weekend was that I found the keys to the garden shed for the first time since moving in.  They were on the fridge, which is extremely inconvenient for vertically challenged people like me.  In the shed the previous owners have left me all this old gardening equipment, some of which could live in a museum.  There are poisons (which I'm not so keen on despite my weed anxiety), clay soil fixer, rooting powder, hand weeders, grass airers, hoes, trowels, labels, and more.  Woot!


  1. Looking good! Stephanie Alexander has "recipes" in her kitchen garden companion for Compost Lasagne!

  2. Thanks. I'll check the book out when I next go to a bookshop