Forum home Tools and techniques

Didn't Monty make composting difficult!

I do like Monty, and in his defence he did say "if your method works for you", but he did make making compost sound SO difficult!
 Four bins! Turning it every week! Mowing your compost!

I just have two bins, one for each season. I fill one one year, and the second the next. I just fill it full of all green waste, cardboard - no meat or cooked - that's it, I simply leave it. At the end of a year i start using the next bin and use the first to mulch. That's it - nothing else

Why so complicated?



  • B3B3 Posts: 13,163
    I have a big heap and scrape out compost from underneath the heap when it's cooked and put it in a separate heap. Messy but effective - if you don't mind the odd weed or ten.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 6,420
    I think it depends how much compost you want to create and how quickly. He tries to use mostly what he produces on this land, as do I. To produce enough you have to be on a fairly fast cycle. Mine are on a three month summer cycle, in a small space, but to do that I have to turn it regularly. The best way of getting air in it by moving it all from one bin to another every now and again.

    You can just leave your compost in the bin, and it will turn eventually, if balanced. I like to think of it more like making a cake. Mixing, tasting, sifting. I take out what is ready to use and remix and rebalance the rest, see what's too dry or too wet, add some garden soil, so shredded leaf, a bit of coir. I have found for the last few years that if I don't check in with my bins, they either become a soggy mess or a dry load of twigs.

    Lastly, I love composting. It feels like total magic, and few things give me more pleasure in the garden than messing about with the bins and extracting the gorgeous crumbly forest floory goodness. Chocolate cake.
  • ZeroZero1ZeroZero1 Posts: 564
    I dont want to be too mean to Monty and take your points Fire. I am sure turning compost speeds things up (and i share your Joy) 
    But mowing compost? The thought of it is hilarious here LOL!
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 6,420
    I haven't seen this week's GW yet.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,920
    Mowing some of the stuff is a good idea, we use a chipper and in between everything is chopped small by hand, it’s turned into different bins as Monty does, usually ends up in builders bags as we run out of bins. I can’t think how many we have off hand, maybe about 6. Then it goes in the bags. 
    We have compost ready to use in 2 months, we make enough each year to cover all the garden, waiting a year for each bin full wouldn’t be an option. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,324
    Mowing the bigger stuff is an alternative to shredding. If Monty used a shredder he’d probably be criticised because not everyone had access to one of those ... more have access to a mower. 
    Think he’s probably learned by now that he’ll never please all the folk all of the time ... I don’t mow or shred mine and it takes 12 months to make compost. His is 4 times quicker. 🙂
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,122
    Ah, another MD bashing thread :) 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 25,217
    Well, I'm sticking up for Monty on this matter.
    I think he said " before I had a shredder I used to use the mower for 20 years" or some such thing. I've done the same ( I'd not use an electric flymo though if that's all you've got )  my 20 " Honda rotary mower makes short work of stuff.
    As has been said, you can leave it, but if you want more, quickly I can not fault his composting regime, apart from his first bin, which seems to have to them removed for chipping first. Why not chip it as you produce it?
    But that's a minor issue.
    I almost laughed out loud at the old boys and their flippin gooseberries. Not a single mention of what they actually taste like, or even if they're ever eaten, just weight. 
    All that faffing about with scales and " penny weights and grains" why not just weight them on modern electric scales. What a kerfuffle.
    The expression " for gods sake , get a life" sprung to mind. Harmless but more than a little bit over the top IMHO> 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,340
    My hubby used to mow the hedge clippings up. I found it gave a better end result by putting them through an impact shredder. I mix the fine shreddings with grass cuttings and let it heat up.  Smaller bits compost more quickly. You don't have to, it just takes longer.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • ZeroZero1ZeroZero1 Posts: 564
    For the record: I do Like Monty and think he does wonders for GW. 

    My concern was that if you were a beginner gardener, or had modest facilities, les than 4 bins for example, you might think that making compost is difficult. In fact it's easy even with one bin. As for the big sticks, i just take them out and put them in the council bin

    Monty IS great! 
Sign In or Register to comment.