Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Experimental compost trench

After much potting on Sunday afternoon, I decided to take a quick trip down to the plot and empty our little brown bin. The council usually empties this for us every two weeks, processing it into lovely compost which is available to Ipswich residents..........however - you have to buy it back!! Well - nuts to that, I thought - after an inspiring conversation with another friend who is also an allotmenteer and regularly wheels his bin to his plot, I thought I too would by-pass the 'buy back' procedure of the municipal composting scheme and have the benefits for free. I am also reassured in the knowledge that I know exactly what waste has gone into my special brand of compost and am saved the suspicion of any nasty perennial weeds that may have survived the super heated treatment - forever the sceptic that I am.
Have I mentioned there has been no rain for some time??? Well surprisingly the trench was easier to dig than I expected - all that remained to do was tip the already decomposing matter into the trench, spread it about a bit and cover with soil.

I should point out a few flaws to my version of the plan - the bin was surprising heavy though it was only a third full, and some creative thinking had to be applied to get bin from van to ground - thus done with the use of a pallette. It was also kind of awkward to turn the bin upside down by oneself (the ol' back has been grumbling ever since), and dear God the smell!! I only hope the intended plants appreciate the foul rottenness that had me ever so slightly gagging whilst frantically throwing soil back over the putrid goop! All in all - it was a much shorter process than I figured and I look forward to planting some dwarf french beans (if they ever germinate - grrrr) along the trench - the theory being that - as the green waste decomposes it will feed the hungry plants and also help to conserve moisture.

My only thought is that the waste is fresh (was it ever!) so may be more harmful than useful, much like fresh manure can be, potentially burning the roots and robbing the soil of nitrogen as it breaks down and preventing the said beans from gettin' any, which they will not like and will probably show their displeasure by dying.

Ah well - there's always next year, when I will be the tiniest bit wiser.....perhaps.


stephanos_lemon said...

aren't beans nitrogen fixers anyhow? I would have thought summit which needs nitrogen would benefit most. Soil is more likely to be robbed of oxygen, which can eb fixed by aerating it a bit more often...biology isn't my fote however...

Jason said...

nice....i like that style of composting