GARDENING

Gardening with James Vaughan: How to make the perfect compost

James Vaughan

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James Vaughan

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news@tipperarylive.ie

Gardening with James Vaughan: How to make the perfect compost

How to make the perfect compost

I know that some people would not agree with me, but the recent spell of rain and low air pressure were badly needed. Several established shrubs in my garden were beginning to flag. I needed to resort to watering in the evenings with watering cans. As you can imagine this is a time consuming and laborious task. What I have found that helps with plants coping with dry conditions is to add mulch or compost around their base. It is important to remember that if adding mulch around trees or shrubs not to place the mulch right up against the trunk or stem. This is because the mulch touching the trunk or stem can cause the plant to get rot. I have seen this happen many times in the past.
I have added some information below on how to make the perfect garden compost at home. There are several topics which are important to cover, so the topic will be covered over two weeks.

Making Compost
If you have ever tried to make your own compost in the past, has it just turned out to be a smelly slimy mess? I guess the biggest hint I could give to someone starting a compost heap is to remember to keep it balanced. By this I mean not too hot or too wet and not too acidic. If you bear a few things in mind then you will be well on your way to perfect homemade compost.

Construction
The compost heap can be made from whatever material you have close to hand. You could make them from old planks of wood or from broken down pallets. In our garden they are made up of 6 inch (150mm) timber boards. I simple nailed them together in 4 ft (1.2M) squares. In total, we have three compost bays. The strategy is that when one bin is full we fork the material into the next square. When the second bay is filled we fork it into the third square. Once the third bay is full it is transformed into ideal garden compost. This can be used to top-dress vegetable patches or flower beds.

Layers
It is important that the organic matter is laid down in layers. Typically, the layers are described as green layers or brown layers. Green layers consist of mainly grass clippings or hedge cuttings. The brown layer can consist of your kitchen organic waste bin or any shredded newspaper. You need to add the material in layers, four inches (10CM) at a time. This may seem tedious, especially if you have a lot of grass clippings to add. But trust me, it is worth it in the end. If the material is added in layers it will rot down quicker and more evenly. You will be less likely to have any un-decomposed material in the compost heap.
Contact James by email: james.vaughan1020@gmail.com