Thursday, February 24, 2005

Mulch today, compost tomorrow

Well, not quite that fast but it is amazing how quickly all that plant material becomes wonderful compost. Three large barrowloads of cosmos and strawflowers and one of mixed delights which had already started to decompose on top of the horse manure, found their way down the throat of the mulcher this morning and are already heating up in the compost heap. One of my favourite spots in the garden is the compost heap. It's hard to walk past the heaps without plunging my hand into their depths to see how hot it is, or turn over a few forks full to watch the hive of activity going on below the surface. We have two large bricked compost 'bins' and my constant fear is that I will run out of compost, yet at the same time there is scarcely enough room to contain all of the material that we shred and put into them. With autumn on its way, and bags of leaves to be collected and mulched, they will be bursting at the seams.

I guess I should get it out/into the gardens. After all, it won't do much good sitting in a heap, will it.


Calidore said...

I'm with you. I looooove compost. We have one huge heap, that DH turns with a Kanga loader. We should really mulch it up like you do, but there just aren't enough hours in the day - sigh. Still the heap seems to work reasonably well, the load of sheep manure we got last weekend will give it a good kick along. Must admit though the first time I saw steam coming off my compost heap I thought it was on fire and ran for DH. How silly am I????

Alice said...

Before I was married (37 years ago) I lived on a dairy farm in West Gippsland. My brother carted cattle and about 3 times a week he would sweep the straw and manure off the decks of his trucks into a big heap. After a few months I would spread it on the gardens about 10 inches deep. I grew pansies with stems a foot long. It took me a while to work out why all the native plants kept dying, but I didn't like them much anyway - then.

You know, we never really read or heard much about compost or mulching in those days. How I would love to have access to that much manure and hay/straw now. It's the old story - if only I knew then what I know now!!