rewild your garden: create a compost heap

rewild your garden: create a compost heap
Alex, Head Gardener, takes us through his composting tips.
Composting is like throwing a garden party for nature! It's not just about turning kitchen scraps into rich soil; it's about creating a bustling hub of life right in your garden. As you build your compost pile, you're inviting a whole community of fungi and tiny soil critters to get busy, breaking things down. Then come the guests of honour – worms, woodlice, and slugs, munching away and making everything nice and crumbly. This in turn attracts birds, hedgehogs, toads, and other friendly creatures. So, by composting, you're not just giving your plants a boost; you're enriching the whole garden ecosystem! Here's how:
  1. You can either make your own compost bin, or opt for a shop bought one.
  2. Nourish your compost with a blend of green and brown goodies. The secret to fabulous compost? A layered mix of green (think nitrogen-rich stuff like grass cuttings, weeds, and raw veggie scraps) and brown (carbon-rich materials like twigs, dry leaves, wood chips, shredded paper, and cardboard).
  3. Chop your compost materials into small pieces. This quickens their transformation into compost and generates heat that zaps weed seeds.
  4. A few composting don'ts – skip meat, cooked food, dairy, and pet waste to deter uninvited furry guests. If you spot rats, hold off on the veggie scraps.
  5. Keep your compost damp (but not waterlogged). In dry spells, sprinkle it with water. Cover it with a wooden or woolen carpet to trap heat and moisture without making it too wet. A covered heap composts faster than an uncovered one.
  6. Turn your compost occasionally with care, avoiding any surprise encounters with slow-worms or toads. Use gentle tools and only turn in spring and autumn to keep the peace.
  7. You'll know your compost is prime when it's dark, crumbly, and smells like a forest floor.

Peek under your cover now and then. You might spot a bustling mini-world: woodlice, centipedes, worms, springtails, and even slow-worms!

Check out more tips!

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