Monday, April 8, 2013

Black Gold

Black Gold was a term (according to Wikipedia) coined during the outbreak of the Industrial Revolution concerned with the value and usefulness of oil. It has probably been assigned to other things as well, and I'm surely not the first gardener to think of compost or soil in those terms.

The other day, as I was emptying compost from one of my several compost bins, more or less with every fork or spade full, I was thinking what valuable stuff this is, and all for free! It has now been spread onto some of the veggie beds, with some held back for Mrs Soggy's tubs and baskets.

It can be disheartening if efforts at making compost do not turn out fine and healthy results, just getting a few things right can make a big difference  perhaps the most important of which is to get a good balance of material to compost. If you pile in lots of grass cuttings and little else, it'll just be a slimy mess you produce;  on the other hand, lots of egg boxes, cardboard and shredded prunings will likely stay pretty much looking like a pile of dry kindling. However, mix those 2 together and you should be in business!

For some good advice, visit Garden Organic or the RHS web sites.

Digging out from a compost bin

Each bin yields between 2 and 3 barrow loads.
(Next to it you can see the last of the shredded Brussels Sprouts stems
going into the bins for the whole cycle to start again).

3 comments:

Compostwoman said...

Nice looking compost :-)

Brian Hesketh said...

High praise, coming from you, thank you. But we never really know how well it's composted till we see how many weed seeds have survived do we! Still, best to think of that as green manure I suppose.

Compostwoman said...

Thats how I view any weed seeds - I wait to see what emerges and then hoe it off and add to the compost bin - or if it is sunny just leave the weedlings to fry!