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in Tools and techniques
There was a request for something like this in another topic so, how do you do it?
I have 2 areas made from pallets with a plastic inner liner and one large purpose built plastic bin.
I cover the pallet areas with plastic bags and carpet to retain heat.In goes all vegetable waste from the house, plus teabags, eggshells (broken up), old growbags, lawn clippings, ash from the fire and brown paper and loo roll tubes. I also occasionally mix in a bag or two of horse manure.
I rotate them around moving the contents by turning it over and placing it in another bin. All fairly standard stuff. I am pleased with the result.
This is how I make my compost which is more or less the same way as you;
My husband constructed two Bee hive compost bins which I have been using for the last few years. Each year I get a little better at it but my efforts could still be much improved. I know how to make a good mix of wet and dry, and I've also added urine or manure when available although I never get a steaming heap and the compost, whilst well structured and fresh smelling, is rather on the fibrous side, so I save it mostly for greedy plants that don't mind its texture. It holds water well! I've never much turned it and generally put them to bed through the winter months but this method means I always run out and I have a very greedy 100ft garden.
So, today I prepared my recently filled bin by chopping the material up with my sheers, turning it and chopping more until the entire pile was well mixed, then I added the digested result of three pots of tea and put it to bed under a piece of carpet with the lid on top. I'm hoping the chopping will help it along better (I'd love to own a garden shredder!) and I promise to turn it more often to keep it active.
Any advice or things I'm not doing properly?
Have you looked into using a waste food digester? I have two Green Johannas from Green Cone and the compost is absolutely superb. My wife and I haven't put out any food waste of any description for the past two years. Cooked and uncooked meat, fish, vegetables, you name it, plus grass clippings, etc. all go into the Johannas.
Monty Don chops all his material up by putting it in a huge contained area and running over it with an old lawnmower before forking it into his main bin.
Yes, a great strategy if you have space! Sadly I don't, but I might have muscles by the end of summer
I believe councils and parks shred the material to speed up the process but what sort of gap should I leave between turnings? I've seen those twirling bins that are supposed to be turned daily but have no idea about a beehive style.
I want compost as fast as possible! Sorry, I'm being greedy but my garden demands nourishment and it will also produce a stupid amount of waste through the summer and whilst the patient thing to do is invest in more bins, it's just not an option presently.
You could have compost in a beehive bin in about 12 weeks. They are not veryo good for turning though. Just a small hatch at the bottom to dig it out and tip into another container. I would probably only turn once ot twice.
I have homemade ones that look like Beehives but don't have the bottom drawer. It has bevelled sides that stack as high as you like and is furnished with a lid. Access is gained through the top, and I can dismantle the layers if necessary. It has made turning very hard work in the past, especially since I never seem to have an empty bin to pass it back and forth which is why I sheered the contents this time round. I figure I'll keep sheering every time I stir to make easy work. It's already a lot easier to rotate the fork, if a little tight.
Just wanted an idea of once a day or once a week to stir it.
I couldn't resist a peek at mine at the weekend and it already had a little heat at its centre which would be the first time ever. It's looking really promising.