Events and news
A new page on composting wood, woodchip has been added to www.carryoncomposting.com. While wood may not loom high in the life of the average composter who may only be faced with the decision as to whether to compost woody prunings from shrubs and the occasional branch from a small tree or to avoid the effort by putting them in the "green” wheelie bin. However, in most gardens there will be the need to dispose of the occasional item of treated wood e.g. rotten fence post or wood from a garden building. In addition, there are gardeners and composters who may have more wood waste because of hobbies, such as woodcarving or turning, resulting in the need to deal with small off-cuts of woods that are more exotic, sawdust and shavings.
Composting Wood from Garden Trees
Shredded or chipped untreated wood can be home composted, ideally in a separate compost bin, or heap as it will be a slower process than composting normal garden and kitchen waste. Broken pallets
made from untreated wood can also be home composted if chipped.
In general, wood from poisonous plants, such as yew, can be hot composted, as the most of the toxic substances will be broken down with time or during the composting process composting. To be extra safe the wood can be stored in a woodpile for a few months before shredding and finished the compost kept six months or until the following season to mature
The use of composted woodchip and sawdust as a bulking agent in food composters is quite common and wood chip may be used as a source of carbon in conventional compost bins as well as being composted after use as chicken or pet bedding.
Methods for composting small amounts of wood chip are given as well as methods to deal with larger amounts produced by landscape gardeners, woodland maintenance and tree surgery.
Suggestions for composting of Black Walnut wood and leaves containing Juglone are also given along with safety testing the finished compost using tomatoes as a test plant.
The page also contains information on Treated Woods that should not
be put in the garden waste bin for kerbside collection or green waste container at the Recycling centre.
We had over 60 visitors to the NWLDC Compost Awareness Week stand at Coalville Market today. The Council stand will be moving to outside the Morrrisons Supermarket tomorrow but I will be heading to Buckingham Garden Centre to promote composting with worms.
If you are involved with a Garden Club, Allotment or any other group and would like a talk on a composting topic (in the Midlands within about a 2 hour drive from Coalville) please contact me.
If you do not like the idea of waste food hanging about the house waiting for collection by the council and do not fancy hot composting or using a Bokashi system the Smart Cara might be the kitchen gadget for you. It grinds heats and dehydrates food waste reducing it in volume by up to ninety percent in three hours. The dry odour free material produced can be dug directly to the garden, be added to a conventional home-composting bin or to the normal council bin collection.
The kitchen waste is put, or scraped from the plate, into a special bucket that is then placed in the machine. In three hours, the waste will heated, dehydrated and reduced by about 90% to produce a dry material that can be used as a soil enhancer.
The Smart Cara is not cheap costing about £400 and about £4 a month to run but it does offer an alternative method of dealing with cooked food, meat and other food waste for those living in flats or houses without gardens or gardeners that only have a cold composting system who are not happy using a Bokashi bin.
A longer version of this blog can be found on the Food Composting section.
I am giving the following talks and attending the events on composting over the next three months.
3rd May Talk at Welwyn Garden City for allotment gardeners. Organised by the Council Allotment Officer. Starts at 7pm
9 May Attending NWLDC Composting Road Show at Coalville Market 10-2pm. Part of Intenational Compost Awareness Week activities. Information on Composting, current council offers on bins etc.
10th May. Talk starting at 4pm Composting with Worms at Buckingham Nurseries & Garden Centre.
24th May Home Composting talk Market Harborough 1:30 - 3pm Talk to Carers for Voluntary Action South Leicestershire
27th 28th May Food Gusto Festival at Ashby de la Zouch. We will have a stand at this two day event promoting home composting of food and garden waste
3rd June Talk to Duffield Garden Club Composting at Home and on the Allotment
6th June Stand at Brocks Hill Country Park Promoting composting and giving children the chance to make Rotbots (a compost bin in a bottle)
10th June 12pm - 5pm Stand at Loughborough Picnic in the Park event organised by Charnwood Arts
12 June Cross Farm Garden Club A change from the composting theme a talk on Garden Safety looking at peoples efforts to injure themselves in the garden. including Bill and bens Revenge the 4.000+ serious accidents invoving flower pots