How to make a composting trench

Find how to make a composting trench for next year's crops.

Do it:

Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec

Takes just:

15 minutes

Making a composting trench is a great way to use up your organic kitchen waste and give your vegetable crops a boost in the coming growing season.

By placing your vegetable peelings in a trench to rot down over winter, you'll add nutrients to the soil and help to retain valuable moisture. 

All it requires is a little forward planning, as you need to select in advance where you're going to grow your runner beans or other thirsty crops, such as courgettes or pumpkins.

Here's how to make a composting trench.

You will need

  • Organic kitchen waste
  • Garden spade

Advertisement

Dig out a trench about 60cm deep during late autumn or winter. Then start filling it with all your organic kitchen waste, such as vegetable peelings, mouldy fruit, apple cores, onion skins and even tea bags.

Each time you add a batch of kitchen waste, cover it with a layer of soil. Continue until the trench is full, then top off with soil and leave it to rot down. As it does so, it will hold on to plenty of moisture, which is just what beans enjoy. 

In May or June, sow or plant your beans on top of the composting trench and their roots will go down into the moisture-retentive, nutrient-rich material, boosting their growth.

Advertisement

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Five crops to harvest in July

Crops to harvest in September

How to build a compost bin

Related offers

Offer

3 for 2, plus free seeds

Order any three packs of veg plants from a special selection at Mr Fothergill's and the cheapest will be free. Plus, you'll also receive a collection of herb seeds (worth over £15) free with your order.

Use code: GWF17MAR

Order now

Offer

Chilli collection - save 25%

Save 25 per cent on this hot chilli pepper collection, comprising four fiery varieties - 'Apache', 'Firebell', 'Jalapeño' and 'Norfolk Naga' - for just £5.99.

Use code: GWCP2

Order now

Offer

Save £5 on shallots and garlic

Now is a great time to plant shallots and garlic for a harvest later on this year. You'll save £5 when you buy four packs (two of each) of shallot 'Vigarmore' and garlic 'Solent Wight' fpr just £14.80.

Order now