Posted: 01/05/2014 at 16:40
Just noticed this thread and it reminded me I have a compost bin to do something with. It's one that the Council "gave away" for £10 some years ago and I was keen, as I'd never composted and a few years earlier hadn't even been interested in gardening.
Anyway we did that thing of putting stuff in, seeing from the top that it shrank down, and wondering where it was all going. It was only this spring that a pest control officer, talking about mice, pointed out that all the compost was going straight into the soil beneath. The council leaflet didn't mention standing it on anything! D'oh.
She recommended leaving it a bit to let the most recent contributions rot down (which is what the mice were attracted to of course), then tipping it up to empty, and putting some fine mesh underneath before starting again. Does fine mesh sound a good thing to use, to you experts?
My other problem is that my health is poor - improving slowly, but it's taken 8 years so far and I'm still on disability - plus I'm newly single, and the garden is the bit of household management I'm not fitting in so far. This bin is one of the ugly plastic kind, with a lid you lift to put stuff in, and a little sliding door at the bottom to take the compost out. I can only get down to it (just like lower shelves etc) on a Good Day (and I try to clean the kitchen on Good Days). It hadn't even occurred to me to empty the whole lot in one go, as you're all talking about.
If I tip it on its side (I have a tarpaulin), is it worth carrying on with this bin or using the opportunity to start something better designed? and if the latter, what design? but if the former, should it stand on mesh or something else?
Oh, and it's a bit too near the house for an open compost heap, I do want to be able to enclose it completely with lid or whatever. But there is space for two bins, or there can be anyway, and I do have a second identical bin somewhere - because the council delivered two. They can't count application forms or £10 cheques, evidently, but didn't want the extra one back.