You made some lovely, sweet smelling compost from your garden and kitchen waste. It’s decomposed over three, six or twelve months into a crumbly, light fluffy mix of organic matter. There might be a few twigs or avocado stones still visible, but most of the contents are unrecognisable. What now (apart from being time to start the next compost heap)?
- When a bed is empty (you pull out your beans, tomatoes, corn or zucchini for example), aerate it using a digging fork to lift the soil gently and then spread a layer* of compost on top, discarding any un-decomposed pieces back into the next compost heap. Ideally wait 2-3 weeks before planting out seedlings and a month or so before sowing seeds.
- Use it to fill pots or containers, mixed with an equal quantity of topsoil
- Store it covered from the rain until you can use it.
*To add a 5cm (2”) layer to each square metre of garden bed requires 50 litres (five buckets) of compost. One metre cubed of compost (1000 litres) would cover 20 square metres of bed (2m x 10m say). Four metres cubed of ingredients would produce about one metre cubed of compost.