15. May, 2020

Community Composting in Lockdown

Now that the lockdown has be lifted enough to allow travelling to the Compost Demonstration site to maintain the bins, we have the  challenge to clearing at least one of the Reception bins quickly to make room for fresh material from the allotments. During the past few weeks local  allotment plot holders have been able to work their plots as part of their exercise regime and as a consequence both reception bins have been filled.

Just before lockdown it was noticed that as result of the spring weeding prior to sowing and planting we were getting a high percentage of weeds for composting and unusually the soil had not been knocked off  the roots.  Luckily over the three of four weeks in the reception bins few had started to grow which will mean that we will be adding more soil to our bins than usual., as there will not be time to knock the soil from the plants when adding them to the bins. The lockdown also meant the main community pallet bins containing the compost made last year have not been emptied so the “household” bins on display will be used initial

Yesterday I started with two of our wooden bins a Lacewing    and Rowlingson Beehive kindly donated by GardenSite  https://www.gardensite.co.uk/garden-structures/composters/. Both are bins suited for use in a modern small garden. The Lacewing easy load composter is slated bin has an easy access as all the front slats can be removed.

 The beehive bin makes an attractive feature in a smaller garden  and is easy to fill with a hinged lid and a prop to keep it open when material is being added. Harvesting is by means of a hatch at the base of the bin.

 The material added to the bins on this occasion, as well as including the soil on the roots the  mentioned above, consisted of a mixture of annual and perennial spring growing weeds as the mix in the reception bin made it impractical to separate them. While the official advice is not to add any roots from perennial plants many allotment gardeners just put everything in the bins  usually with out significant problems. Any  perennial weeds that  survive the composting can be removed at the end of the process. Progress will be monitored in future blogs. More information on the site and training available  can be found at  http://www.carryoncomposting.com/142941482 and  http://www.carryoncomposting.com/443725783