Not yet a composter

Discussion in 'Allotments Discussion' started by Emily Jones, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Emily Jones

    Emily Jones Gardener

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    I've not yet got into composting, but I sure am hoping too eventually. At the moment my waste goes into a large bonfire, where the ashes then get used by people, for their plots. I've got a bucket with the dead leaves of things like turnips and rhubarb. They've gone super crispy. I was wondering whether I could use them as mulch, maybe mixed with straw, to cover my strawberry beds this winter. Or is this completely crazy..would I risk spreading pests?? Any tips appreciated as always :)
     
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    • Macraignil

      Macraignil Gardener

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      If the mulch is made up of plants that are not related to the strawberry I don't think there would be any problem. Try to avoid adding seeds of anything that could sprout and need to be weeded out next year if you can.
       
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      • JR

        JR Chilled Gardener

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        I'd much rather compost all the rhubarb n turnip leaves first.
        When they've turned into a rich dark 'black gold' you can mulch any and everything with it.
        I've got 3 compost bins on my plot so that i can put the newer stuff in a seperate one to the ready to use ones.
         
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        • ARMANDII

          ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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          Well, composting is certainly the way to go if you want to help increase the fertility and body of your soil by adding the compost either as a mulch or lightly dug in. A lot of the GC Gang, of which you are now a member:love30::thumbsup:, have been making compost and using it in the garden for years. You'll find the more you plant the more compost that will, eventually, be produced.
          I would have no hesitation in using the compost as you describe

          to protect your strawberry beds and there is no risk of spreading a disease if the material was disease free when put in the bucket. All plants when decomposing have bacteria in/on them as that is part of the natural process and those bacteria are not harmful.

          Just to show you how much compost can be used in a year the below image is of my original compost heap that was 6' long by 8' wide and used to get up to 8' high which my cats used to love sitting on in the Summer
          upload_2020-8-3_11-31-16.png

          upload_2020-8-3_11-35-5.png

          But just two years ago I redesigned the patio and replaced the old compost heap with these two 1000 litre compost bins which are now stuffed full and I will adding the "black gold" to the borders as I have done for decades.
          upload_2020-8-3_11-18-42.png

          So, starting off with a bucket of...........

          might end with you making a large compost heap for your allotment.:dunno::heehee::cat-kittyandsmiley::coffee:
           

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          • ricky101

            ricky101 Total Gardener

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            Bit surprised that you are allowed to have big bonfires on your Allotment ? surely not very Green friendly these days ?

            Making compost heaps is the best way to use up all your waste, so many methods , be it an open heap, old pallets etc or the modern composting bins.
            Just google "diy compost bin" for loads of ideas/methods

            Only diseased plants etc need to be disposed of by other means.
             
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            • JR

              JR Chilled Gardener

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              I visited my allotment tonight around 19.30 to water and feed.
              Not one bombfire was lit, but two!.. I didn't mind too much cos i figured it was a reasonable time to light them, but it's just the smoke stink through my clothes that isn't too pleasant to drive home with. One guy lit a fire under his apple tree the other night and paid a high price cos half of the tree is burnt to a cinder including many dozens of apples.
              You just can't fathom some folks...
               
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              • Emily Jones

                Emily Jones Gardener

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                I've only seen it lit once in 6 months so far, and when you're clearing a plot there's not always a use for all the wood you're left with. At least people use the wood ash to enrich their soils, I guess you can call that recycling :scratch: I'm going to get onto the case of composting soon enough. Thanks for your tips!
                 
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                • Emily Jones

                  Emily Jones Gardener

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                  Oh!!! I don't think we're allowed to light our own, we have a couple of guys who just tend a main one. It doesn't get lit too often from what I can gather. Oh my...do you think he was trying to cook his apples before picking them :doh::biggrin:
                   
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