Saturday, 23 August 2014

Compost Matters

 1. The Wormery
Kitchen waste, grass clippings and paper go into the top layer and the worms start to munch. The bottom of the top 3 layers is a fine mesh so the worms can travel between levels and the munchings go through to the layer below.
Once in the second layer below the worms continue to munch. The munchings from that layer end up in layer three as very fine compost. Layer four fills with a dark brown liquid. There is a tap to access it. It is a liquid plant feed that is diluted 1 part to 10 parts water. It's like Guinness for tomatoes, probably even puts hairs on their chests.

Hurry up and ripen!

2. The Compost Bins

Most of the compost-able materials goes into the compost bins. A mix of kitchen vegetable waste, grass cuttings, prunings and hedge cuttings that have been gone over with the lawn mower. To this is added paper and cardboard from those nice boxes that Amazon sends. this keeps the balance of nitrogen and carbon about right, hopefully. The worms help out here too but it much slower than in the wormery. It needs regular turning to speed things up. It's lucky if it gets turned over once in the space of a year but it gets there eventually. Even if if's a bit coarse it's usable as a mulch or mixed with John Innes 3 for growing tomatoes. The last photo shows a much finer grain compost that has had even longer.


Stephanie Guy Fine Art said...

It's very interesting to see the difference between the 2 types of composting Tessa, which do you prefer? Can you put everything in the wormery?

We have a dalek thing that gets emptied once a year and STINKS when we do empty it. Sadly we don't have room to have 2 on the go otherwise we could leave it longer and it would rot down more.

Colours and Textures said...

The wormery makes works faster and makes the liquid feed but can't deal with the volume of stuff that the bins can take. I don't put citrus peel in the wormery. If I layer the stuff that goes in the bins and give it a mix around at least once in the year to get some air in, they don't usually smell after a year. Too much wet stuff going in can make it slimy and stinky and not enough and it just stays as dry stuff. You can add water or some er.. recycled beer.