Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Kitchen Garden Trench Composting

Compost is the soul of every organic garden. I set up eight heaps this year, but the black stuff won't be ready until late Spring at the earliest. In the meantime our piles of kitchen peelings are mounting up. Good news...

It's not too late in the year to try kitchen garden trench composting.

You can do this up until Christmas if the weather allows. It is particularly useful for people who might have moved into a new house and lost their top soil (sometimes the builders take it away and sell it) - or for people who need to enrich free draining sandy soil. Kitchen waste is a free resource and come Spring you can plant beans, peas or courgettes on the bed and they will love the enriched and moisture retentive soil.

Here is how I used this technique in a raised bed:

STEP ONE - Dig a trench or hole about one spade deep.
STEP TWO - Collect some kitchen waste - vegetable and fruit matter only please, not including potato peelings - (they sometimes sprout) or cooked waste. I kick start the composting process at home with Bokashi bran - which is really useful to use if you only have a small kitchen. I get mine online along from 'Recycle Now' along with other reasonably priced composting items (including compost bins) but they should have it in your garden centre.
STEP THREE - Put the waste in the trench. If you have a lot you might need to layer it with more soil.
STEP FOUR - Cover the whole lot with soil. To insulate, (keeps the worms happy) top the lot off with cardboard and something to stop it blowing away.
Sceptics say doing it like this will attract rodents and foxes. Done properly though, it doesn't. The trick is to bury the waste deep enough. If you want to go by the Organic Gardener's 'Bible' check out page 48 of 'The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening'. More about this book on my Amazon store link (click here):

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