Creating space for more compost
One side of our dual compost heap has been filling up with green and brown garden waste and kitchen peelings.
It had almost become too full, so it was time for the rotted mix in the other side of the bin to be spread or bagged up to make room for new stuff, while the full heap is left to rot down.
Winter’s drop in temperature means that composting will take slightly longer, so to get the process off to a good start we left a layer of already composted material at the bottom of the bin. This will be rich in microbes, worms and woodlice that help break down plant material.
It’s always interesting to see what has survived the composting process. When we had a bagless vacuum cleaner that we emptied straight on to the heap we had compost littered with bits of glitter, plastic stickers and even the occasional shoe from a Barbie doll. now we are more likely to find plastic plant labels, crocks from emptied pots, woody pieces of plant and grass that hasn’t quite broken down enough. Most of these are removed and binned, but the partly composted grass gets added to the new heap so it goes through the process one more time. The most likely reason it hadn’t broken down is because too much was added to the heap in one go, and it wasn’t mixed through well enough.
For the best results, vary the contents of your compost heap and fork it through every few weeks, so all the material breaks down equally.
Leave some compost so microbes can start to work on new material
Uncomposted material should be added to the new heap