Bins, piles, bays, mounds, heaps..all the places we make and do compost. We bring our scraps, garden waste, manures and grasses together and make something special. If we don’t produce enough on our own- we can buy it in bags, trailer or truck loads. Someone, somewhere is always making compost.
Even birds can do this. Recent research has shown that the Superb Lyrebird scratches and moves up to 11 tip trucks’ worth of litter and soil a year, more than any animal on the planet. That’s 155 tonnes per hectare! As they search for food, they turn over leaf litter and soil, shifting it downhill, helping it to break down and feed the forests they live in. That’s a busy bird. Locally, the scrub turkey makes itself unpopular with its mounding of backyard litter and scratching up of people’s garden beds for their nests. Now that’s an enthusiastic composter.
I have good intention and healthy enthusiasm towards my own compost making abilities. It’s a proud moment when you have a moist chocolate brown earthy brew emanating a sweet earthy scent. After turning, and waiting patiently the pile is done and you can set to using it in the garden freely and abundantly.
I’ve never met a plant who didn’t like to get dressed up with a bit of compost. It’s the perfect accessory for poor and tired soils. It pretty much goes with everything in the garden and if you don’t have it- you should really get it. At our retail nursery store we are now happily stocking 20L bags of compost from a local producer 'Living Farm Australia'.
I myself have the classic black plastic bin- in go the greens, in go the browns then mix it all up and pop the lid back on till next time. I build it high and as it all breaks down a concentrated mix develops full of nutrients, micro organisms and organic goodness.
Another approach is to compost in situ. Prune your garden and create layers of leaves, twigs, branches, spent vegetable matter and any other natural material you have lying around. The smaller the pieces, the faster it will break down and the quicker you will build up soil in that area. This method will also act as a mulch to protect the earth from hot drying suns and heavy rains that can wash bare soil away. It will provide habitat for insects and small critters and worms, which will take to the spot with great delight. The depth of layers will also help to create more humidity close to the ground, in turn helping plants to battle through those hot summer days where the moisture can literally be sucked right out of them. Save a trip to the tip or the burn pile and use the waste right where it is- joining in the cycle of life.
Note: At Daley’s we’ve changed the way we run our local shop in Geneva. If you’d like to buy plants, please order and pay at www.daleysfruit.com.au and give us a day to prepare your order. We will send you an email once it is ready for collection. We also have a few plants that are too tall to send as mail order that are discounted and, of course, our bargain bin is where you can pick up some handy ideas for your coming harvest. We are open Tuesday to Friday 9am to 3pm. Closed Saturday, Sunday, Monday and public holidays. 36 Daley's Lane, Geneva.