Down to earth is good for the soul

Sunday was the sort of spring day that is really good for working in the garden: cloudy and not too warm – ideal conditions for turning out a compost heap.  And that is just what the doctor ordered after work type things hadn’t been going quite right this week.

I had resorted to topping up one of my heaps as I was running out of space around Christmas, so I knew there was some good stuff under the newer layers of guinea pig bedding waste – and so it turned out. 

I moved the top layers into a bag until I got down to some half digested compost with a lot of leaves still untouched in it.  Well, that was ideal for going in my raised beds in my shade garden as they mimic the sort of conditions the shady plants want, with moisture and leaves decaying.  So a barrow load of that sort of compost went there.  The next layer got progressively more like soil as it went on, and good crumbly compost it was too, right down to the bottom of the bin.  Most of that went on the vegetable patch with the onions growing in it (recommended to top dress onions at this time of year to give them a feed boost), and a bit went on the winter lettuces and the old celeriac bed (empty now).  The next barrowload went round the borders that I’d tidied the other day, and the last half-barrow went into a bag for compost when I need it.

Then I put some bags of guinea pig bedding waste into the bottom of the now empty bin, added some of the half-cooked stuff I’d taken from the top when I started, and got another bag of bedding waste mixed in with that, along with some handy weeds that needed pulling up and the last of the half-cooked stuff.  There’s a little room in the bin at the moment, but it’ll soon start sinking down as it composts and it’ll take some more for a couple of months I expect.

Then I checked the cabbage patch and saw that the dragon kale was putting up flower buds, so those came off and went to the guinea pigs, and I expect the plants will have been pulled up by the end of the week.  I will put some more of the compost on the spring broccoli at that stage, but hopefully that bed will be clear in about six weeks – apart from the scorzonera that seems to live on from year to year, which can stay as the boys love the leaves!

And half an hour after I finished it started raining – a good steady soaker which we havent had for a while.  Just right to help the compost get into the flowerbeds and vegetable patches. 🙂

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