Monday, 9 March 2009

compost

We garden on raised beds so that the soil has the minimum disturbance and so that the worms can do as much gardening as possible.

I don't think any one system is always best, each has its flaws. Our system of raised beds works well for onions, roots and legumes and most brassicas. The paths between the rows waste space for potatoes and so each time the rotation comes around, the narrow strips are dug up:
they have become compacted and need some help.

But that is it, no other digging. I then spread well-rotted compost or manure onto the surface of the soil and leave the worms to do the rest. Because our system is organic and largely no dig, I'm expecting that our worm count will be high. It would be interesting to do a worm count and compare with others who do dig their beds each year.

So today, the big dig began and then the treat: digging into the compst bins. Our compost comprises of comfrey leaves, kitchen waste, paper, hen manure, all of the green waste from the allotment and horse manure.

In 2007 I built 1m3 compost bins and the result of the work is shown. The compost is well rotted and friable. Absolutely excellent. The red worms are brandling worms and necessary to good composting.

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