Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Hot Compost

Almost the first job at Pig Sty Ave v2.0 was to weed the fruit bush bed, and cut back the severely overgrown bushes. There'd been attempts to pull back the feral bushes with strings and bits of wood stuck in the bed. So I hacked my way through it, piling all the cuttings and weeds and wood and string onto a pile which grew over six foot tall.

Last week was mostly going through that pile, chopping up the fruit bush cutting to manageable size, and putting the bits of wood onto the woodpile-for-burning, (as opposed to the woodpile-for-wildlife), and separating out the weeds to compost. To this last I could add two other big heaps of mostly nettles from other parts of the garden. And of course the inevitable docks and grasses.

So I got a big heap of twigs, some of which will go on the woodpile-for-wildlife, the rest for kindling. The weeds I need to hot compost - not because I'm in a particular hurry for the compost, but because they'll be full of nettle and grass seeds, and hot composting should kill them. I ended up with a pile about 5ft high, which I've now turned twice, but it hasn't heated up in the middle...

The problem might be that a lot of the weeds were massive nettles, some of them 6 ft tall, so the pile is very stalky. So the next job, as I turn the pile again, is to go at it with the hdgh and chop up the stalks. I've already tried this, and dear me it's bloody hard work, but needs must. As I've watched cleared beds failing to feed the phacelia, and even weeds being reluctant to grow, I'm concluding this poor allotment is starved. So I need all the compost I can get. Shit, also, but that's another story.