Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Unearthing black gold

When oh when will this dull, wet and miserable weather end. I'm on holiday for a fortnight and have picked by far the worst week of the year. But lets not complain too much, on with the wellies and tackle a job that is long overdue - the clearing out of the compost bin.

I suppose strictly speaking this should have happened in the autumn, the compost spread onto the garden and lightly forked in, awaiting the frost and winter weather to break it down further. But we didn't. Speaking of frost, in all that severe weather during November and December, frost heave happened a-plenty in the compost bin, causing it to erupt from all sides, causing a right old mess, like scree scrambling down the mountain.

So there was nothing for it, off with the front and lets see what was in there. Ohh that does look good, well apart from the detritus on the top.

Oh and it was good stuff, once I'd removed the top 6 inches or so it was just perfect. I had made a DIY sieve out of a plastic trug to riddle out the worst of the lumps, but that didn't work (the compost was too wet - my failure will remain forever unseen on the blog) so in the end ingenuity prevailed and I used a wire hanging basket. Perfect.

Ohh you can just feel the goodness oozing out of this. Absolute black gold. It was packed with millipedes, a good sign, and an abandoned rodent nest. Later a frog bobbled along, so that's my first spring frog of the year.

So after about 2 hours hard graft, I had the compost all lined up against the veg plot. This is about 2/3rds of it, and sieving some through a 6mm mesh to plant a few bulbs, it was just perfect when mixed 50:50 with multipurpose compost. It's not sterile so weeds may be an issue, but unleashing home made compost into the garden must be one of a gardeners biggest joys. However I did find 3 spoons and a pair of socks about half way down. Best not to ask anything further about those.

Next job sorting and cleaning the greenhouse for the impending arrival of hundreds of plug plants herself has just ordered. If it's anything like last year there will be a triffid-like maelstrom of foliage in here in about a month - shudder!!


  1. i love and appreciate gardens but doing it? shudder.

    oh know I still have your old blog listed!

  2. It does look some good stuff Andrew, almost good enough to eat...well maybe not :)

    I enjoyed your previous post too and 'herself' looked very nice in her hat!

  3. The compost oozing out of the bin looks so rich. I bet the garden beds were calling like sirens to be bedded with that black gold.