Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cooking compost

Today I hit the garden at 6.30am to escape the heat. I did lots and lots of things but will put that in seperate of the big things I did today was bring order to the two compost heaps.

The past week my mom chopped down our now tatty borage plants and added that to the pile and I added the straw and manure from the coop. These all act as accelerators. On Thursday my garden helper added a huge pile of leaves and everything got beautifully soaked by the constant rain that we have had.

So today I filled the caged compost to the top from the loose heap next to it. As I dug the steam and heat rose off it so much that we could feel the heat radiating a good few cm's above. This means that the microbes are doing their thing and we should have some excellent compost in a few months time. On my green site I explain how to layer your compost for the best results.

A special friend of mine, who sadly moved away for a year or so, once mentioned to me in passing that she had read that you should always have 3 heaps in rotation. This makes sense as you will be drawing compost from one heap, waiting on the second and building the third. We haven't figured out where to put a third yet so we just have two.

The other thing she mentioned was the the heap in waiting could also be used to grow pumpkins. I decided to give this a go. I do have pumpkins growing up an A-frame but my mom gave me some organic Ghostrider seeds and I need a place to grow this. They look like those typical Jack-O-Lantern type pumpkins.

I dug a hole in the heap and cut the bottom of a small garden pot out. I then filled the pot with some rich soil and added two seeds. They then get pushed down about 10cm and covered over, then place in the compost hole.

Why two seeds? On the back of most squash packets it says that you will let both germinate but then let only the strong one grow to maturity. These pumpkins need to be 1.2m apart so we place one pot with 2 seeds in the front corner and one pot with 2 seeds in the back corner of the cage.

Now I must just remember to keep them watered and hopefully we will be able to have some great pumpkins come autumn.

No comments: