Make Your Own Compost
How do I make the plants in the garden grow better?
There are four things that a plant needs to grow: Light, Water, Nutrients and Air.
You can position a plant from shade to full sun to get the light right and from a wet spot to a dry position when planting it depending on its requirements.
Once growing, a plantís lot can be improved by mulching round it with a bit of compost. This will provide some nutrients and help retain moisture. An added bonus with mulching is that it will help to keep weeds away.
Well: You can go out and buy compost if you want, but a much cheaper method is to make your own. I always feel sad to see the council collecting garden waste every week. Because the council take away the good vegetable matter from our gardens, make compost out of it and sell it back to us.
So what is the alternative? When I was a kid every gardener had a compost heap at the bottom of the garden or behind the shed. They would throw all the grass clippings, leaves, vegetable peelings and anything else that would rot down on it to make their own compost. (There are a few common sense rules like: Donít put cooked food or meat in the compost as this will attract vermin, or adding diseased plants will spread the disease round the garden.) Try to mix up the ingredients as much as possible and digging the heap over occasionally is a help.
After leaving it for a few months the good compost can be shovelled out from the bottom to mulch or dig into the ground as a soil improver. You can tell when it is ready by its feel and smell, it should be dark brown and earthy smelling.
The humble compost heap has evolved over the years to pallets put in a square to make compost bins, on to the plastic Daleks supplied by the councils before they started their collections. (I suspect that the garden waste wheely bins would make good composters.) But all that is required is somewhere to pile up your garden waste that is not too unsightly.
A useful tool would be a chipper to chop up any woody tree prunings or hedge clippings to give your compost some body. But all you really need is a garden fork.
If you go for a woodland walk what do you see on the ground? A mass of leafmould. This means that every woodland is growing on a giant compost heap. Once again there is nothing to it Mother Nature just gets on with it all around us.
Don Morgan Morgans Nursery
Stonehouse Lane, Bulkeley
Nr. Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8BQ
Tel. 01829 720514
Web Site: www.hedgeit.co.uk