At last .. hot compost making

Got to have colour in that vege garden ...

Got to have colour in that vege garden …

Well at long last we put together another hot compost about time too!

Before I launch into the details you do need to consider a few things about the site  … sounds an odd thing to say, but your ‘post’ needs to be in a sunny position, ideally out of the wind and have good drainage. It needs to be relatively close to your vege gardens and should if possible, have a water supply near by. Too much to ask?

Material for the hot compost

Material for the hot compost

The other thing about composts … is getting all the material you need to construct it. I’m into layering, carbon and nitrogen layers … something like 25:1 carbon to nitrogen. You might screw your face up at that, but the good news is there is carbon in most material. Best stuff for carbon is wood shavings (not treated of course), straw or hay, paper, egg cartons, leaves, twigs and branches.

As we removed all the agapantha flowers and stems today we had a load of green matter plus horse pooh from my neighbour, bags of coffee grounds and seaweed gathered from the beach that morning.

Give it a really good hose

Give it a really good hose

I like to start the compost with small branches and twigs to lift the compost slightly to hopefully allow a wee bit of air movement. As mentioned previously I like layering … and after each layer or two give it a really good dousing in water .. hence the need for a hose close by. I usually add blood and bone which is high in nitrogen or comfrey which act as a compost activators (helps those microogranisms to get cracking) but instead I am relying on the manure plus the coffee grounds. With a bit of luck and good management the heap should be heated up to 65 degrees in about 3 days times. Oh, and don’t forget, whack the black plastic over the top and ‘tuck it in’. More on that in the next post …

Tuck that compost in

Tuck that compost in

Good guys … Leopard slug.

These are fabulous slimeys … The jury is out on whether they are in fact carnivorous and eat other slugs. All I know is they are quite beautiful. I found this guy in our compost bucket which had been left outside last night. I was very surprised to see it this morning as the slugs and snails have been hiding as of late … no surprise as to why. So I popped this guy with some of the vege he was interested in, back on the garden in a moist spot. Hope it will be ok.

Gorgeous slimey in my food scrap bin

Gorgeous slimey in my food scrap bin

If you get a chance then please watch the attached video – it is truly amazing.

The garden is good too. Our beautiful summer is continuing and our garden is alive with insect activity. Bees, butterflies, parasitic wasps, drone flies, green shield beetles and ladybirds but to name a few. I even noticed the fungus eating ladybird is back. This lovely little critter relishes feeding on powdery mildew which sadly  is alive and well on my zucchini leaves, something to do with the rain we had last week, for sure. I treated it yesterday with a solution of 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of water and 1 tbs of baking soda. Quite a strong mix .. Remember though you should remove the infected leaves and bin them – while a hot compost will kill disease and seeds I still don’t much like the idea of putting in infected material.

Peach crumble … Made the absolute best crumble ever the other day, divine with a dollop of creme fraiche. Couldn’t find any Toi Toi dessert wine though!

Happy gardening …

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