Compost bin with Salix binding. Photo by Tony Garn

Compost bin with Salix binding

Much of the work to be done in the garden at this time of year produces quantities of pruning’s and other green resource material. Note the use of the word resource. All this garden waste can be turned into soil improving compost. By definition waste has a negative connotation. Turn this thought around and the material becomes a resource.

Increasingly today’s gardens become tidy, so it is perceived compost must be contained rather than left in an untidy pile. One way of constructing such a structure is to use discarded pallets. In the nursery the education team have built a two section structure and gone one green step further; using the whippy, flexible Salix pruning’s to bind the corners together.

Choose a position free of perennial weed; there is nothing better a Bindweed shoot likes than a hot tub of rotting vegetation. The last thing needed is a mature heap of friable compost infested with the long fleshy white roots of Convolvulus or similar pernicious weed.

Compost bin in nursery. photo by Tony Garn

Compost bin in nursery

When adding to the compost bin; mix woody with soft green material. Should too much soft green material sit together it can compact down into an airless mass. Woody twigs and shoots from pruning will keep the heap open and the more efficient aerobic composting process will occur. Turn regularly and wait for the health of your soil to improve as you regularly dig out the heap and add this humus forming material to the garden.

Give nothing away, all the vegetable peelings generated in the kitchen and the inevitable dead pot plant can be added to the heap. As it rots away the heap will attract micro fauna beneficial to the health of the garden as a whole.