Saturday, 9 May 2015

Constructive decomposition: never buy fertiliser again


In line with my make-do-and-mend policy, I was hoping to make use of the compost heap I've been accumulating at the end of the garden over the past few years. Wouldn't it be satisfactory if that could provide new plants in my greenhouse with all they needed to grow in?

But when I looked the compost heap, it didn't look promising. I probably hadn't left it long enough to decompose and I'd been too optimistic about the process - adding too many small branches that might disintegrate before the next ice age, eventually turning into coal I suppose, but wouldn't be compost for several centuries after I myself had returned to my constituent elements.

At least, that's how it looked.

But when I started digging, I found a layer of damp, dark, crumbly stuff underneath. In fact, it bore a striking resemblance to real compost.

And when it has been sieved, it looked even better:

What's more, there was an awful lot of it. A bit like the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, I found I was able to fill up all my pots, and still had a whole wheelbarrow of unsieved stuff left over. I had enough compost to feed five thousand seedlings - well, almost.  

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