This past year I’ve been doing a bit more gardening. In particular I’m quite proud of my compost heaps. I used to just put things in a pile and it would take years to rot down (too dry). But, I bought three compost bins and have sought to keep it the right moisture and mix of materials. Producing good compost is almost as satisfying as growing a good plant, and any kitchen leftovers get put on the heap – every scrap helps – as they say in the manual of organic gardening.
At the bottom of my garden I grew a lot of comfrey. It is good ground cover to reduce the need for weeding. It also makes excellent material for a compost heap.
At this stage of the decomposition process, there is quite a sweet smell and a huge volume of plant material has been has been broken down and rejuvenated into fertile, rich compost for the next generation of plants. The decomposition is helped by worms, slugs, wood lice and host of invisible bacteria, bugs and insects.
I love the bright red worms amongst the dark compost. There was an explosion in their population a few weeks ago. They make good fertiliser as you can see by the deposits on the outside of the bind.
I worry a little that I’ve created the perfect breeding ground for slugs to escape and terrorise my plants elsewhere in the garden – but for the moment I will give them the benefit of the doubt and thank them for breaking down my old plants to produce compost. It shows, even slugs can have a role in the garden – at least it makes a change from slicing them in half, which never felt a very vegetarian thing to do.
Just in case your fed up of looking at compost and the waste products of slugs and worms, here is a picture of above ground.
- Tips on making a compost heap at Gardeners Tips