Digging out the compost

Digging out the compost; we also removed the winter cover this weekend

Not the most exciting post but the best I can think up, as you can tell from the lack of posts over the last month I am very busy with work [current project]! This weekend we set aside some time to work on our garden. It has been in a sorry state for 2 or 3 years now (I can’t remember which), with nothing whatsoever growing in it and a half-finished hot-tub in the corner awaiting a frame and repairs. We have decided to get it sorted and this is the first in what I hope are a long series of posts about what will become a wonderful garden.

This post is all about building our [to-be] vegetable planter and using some of the compost. We also made a start on a mini-meadow which I will write about separately (if the link does not work wait a few days; I tend to write a series of posts and schedule their publication).

Of course we used some [of the compost] a few weeks ago for Vader’s tree but this is the first time we have really used it in anger.

So after a little over one year after getting started was the compost ready?

No.

It was still short on carbon, but the composter was too full for a proper mix-in-of-newspaper so we have to do something with some of the contents. The contents (at the bottom) were smelly, sticky (like wet clay) but did look a little like soil, especially when left for a few hours to dry out. It even smelt a little like soil – stinking soil.

I dug out the base of the composter, up to the point where it started to look like things other than black/ grey/ sludgy/ slime, which produced about a trug-full of stuff. I left this out whilst I made the planter.

The planter we bought was a cheapy from Homebase (on offer) which is made from strong treated wood  but came with only just enough screws, and with only one screw per-corner, per-level it needed a few more deck screws to really hold it together.

Once it had been levelled I put a layer of gravel filled soil in the base (I happened to have a large supply from a patch of dumped gravel I found in the garden – our garden is nothing but a builders dumping ground), and then added a layer of garden soil, a layer of the compost-slime and a layer of garden soil.

I have mixed the garden soil and composlime and I hope by the time we are ready to plant some vegetables in a few weeks that it has broken down enough to be a good growing medium, if not I’m sure by the time we come to crop 2-3-4 that it will have broken down (fingers crossed).

I shall mix in some newspaper when I have a chance.