Composting Garden Science

Turning your compost bin

Debris and waste such as weeds, old plants, vegetable peelings and other bio-degradable material adds up at an allotment.

Turning your compost bin will increase the rate of decomposition. Composting is basically carbon (brown material) and nitrogen (green material) breaking each other down.  The best way to think of this chemical reaction is to look at the processes involved in producing fire. Fire needs air to survive, and compost is no different, hence the importance in aerating your pile – and introducing regular bouts of air and oxygen.

Introducing air and oxygen into your compost bin will increase its temperature, speed up decomposition and will eventually reduce the size of the pile – allowing you to add more and more as the season goes on.

Aerating the compost pile could be the difference between decomposition in 10 weeks or 10 months. Failure to turn your compost bin could result in bacteria feeling rather sluggish and this will move your compost pile  into an anaerobic condition. Anaerobic means without air.

Turning your compost bin is a doddle. If you have an open bin like I have, all you have to do is insert a shovel or fork and turn it over – a bit like a salad. You should look to turn the compost bin at least once a month or maybe even sooner depending on the size of your compost area.

Compost is often described as black gold for gardeners and growers because it adds a great deal of good microbes and nutrients into your soil.  You’ll be surprised at how much can compost from your home, and just how easy composting is – here are top 10 composting tips to help you get started.

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