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Lazy Methods to Make Natural Compost for Your Backyard

Lazy Ways to Make Organic Compost for Your Garden

If the compost bin is the heart of an organic garden (it is), it’s important to get it right if you want high quality organic compost. Don’t buy costly high-tech compost bins from a garden centre. Forget about building bins, with great labour, out of lumber. Instead, let Nature do the work.

Here are some great green gardening tips for making compost organically.

An organic compost bin on legs

Many folk sink a large plastic bin, such as a water butt, underground as a compost pit. The lid repels rain and it will compost even fish and meat scraps, free from pets and scavenging rodents. But to hook out the finished compost from five foot down is a back breaker.

A solution is to raise the plastic bin above ground on bricks. Fit a tap or place a tray underneath the drainage holes and you can draw off liquid compost – a concentrated plant food that’s more balanced and beneficial than even that garden miracle, comfrey tea. (The black smelly gunge that emerges from decomposed comfrey leaves.)

The laziest compost bin for this purpose is an old metal incinerator. When the compost is ready, just knock over the bin.

Using a compost bin on bricks, you can make ‘weed tea’ that serves a double purpose. The rotted weeds will give you a liquid feed plus solid compost. The ideal ingredients are comfrey (high in phosphorous) and/or nettles (rich in nitrogen). Any garden weeds that don’t contain seeds will also add useful trace ingredients.

Just layer the bin with fresh leaves and stalks. (If you add tree leaves, shred them first by running a lawn mower through them a few times or by piling them in a barrel and working them with an electric strimmer.) Collect the nutritious compost tea from the base of the bin and dig the remaining rot into your soil or lay it on the surface as an organic mulch.

Tyres make organic compost

Five stacked tyres make the perfect organic compost bin. They absorb heat so the bin ‘cooks’ quickly. That’s important if you want to destroy weed seeds or blighted foliage. The tyres are easily tipped over when you need the compost. To re-assemble them is a snap.

Washed tyres are safe in the garden. Laboratory tests have shown they import no toxins into your soil or plants. You can get all the old tyres you need – giant tractor tyres will furnish a raised bed all by themselves – free from garages or tyre replacement outlets.

Make sure the garbage in the bins is damp then top the tyre stacks with an old carpet. If the high stacks look ugly, disguise them. Lead degradable strings down from the crowns to the soil and grow beans, peas, tomatoes, achocha, little squashes or climbing flowers up them. In fall, when your compost is ready, just cut the strings. Toss the plant residue, string as well, into a new empty stack of tyres along with the garden waste.

Turn perennial weeds into compost, safely

The most irritating advice I read, when taking instruction on compost, is: ‘ensure your compost bin reaches a temperature of 135°-150°F. That way it will cook all weed seeds and disease organisms’. I live in a temperate clime: zone 8. The day my compost bin tops even 100°F for three days running, I’ll go bake an egg on it. It just doesn’t happen, does it?

Just as irritating is the advice to turn the heap every three days. We just don’t do it, do we? Lazy solution: you can make perennial weed roots harmless, without turning the heap, by putting them into a sealed plastic bag with lime and grass clippings in summer. Add some other plant waste, if you wish. Tie the top loosely or the resulting gases may pop the bag. This process cooks them in three months or, in a tropic summer, three weeks. You get a slimy, black, anaerobic, imitation cow manure. But it’s wondrously fertile!

#Lazy #Ways #Organic #Compost #Garden

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