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harvesting compost

I stopped adding to my compost bin about 6 months ago. There is lots of crumbly black/brown goodness, teaming with worms ... but fair amount of leaves/bits of twigs that have not rotted down. Should I wait some more? Use the compost as is? Sieve it? I will only be spreading it on my flower beds, rather than turning it into potting compost.
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  • Think I'd sieve the compost and starting a new compost heap with the bits that didn't compost. At least that's what I'm planning to do when mine looks to be ready after the summer.
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 

    Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border.
  • Think I'd sieve the compost and starting a new compost heap with the bits that didn't compost. At least that's what I'm planning to do when mine looks to be ready after the summer.
    Thankyou. Is it ok to use the compost as a top dressing? I won't be using it to make my own potting compost any time soon.
  • LunarSeaLunarSea Posts: 1,857
    Thankyou. Is it ok to use the compost as a top dressing? I won't be using it to make my own potting compost any time soon.

    Definitely. It'll continue to rot down on your beds and will serve as a mulch in the meantime.
    Clay soil - Cheshire/Derbyshire border

    I play with plants and soil and sometimes it's successful

  • Don't give up on making home compost. We have many "bins" but some take much longer to break down that others.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,739
    It'll be perfectly fine as a mulch @hiacedrifter . You'd only need to sieve it if you wanted to use it for seed sowing or potting on cuttings or small plants  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • LunarSea said:
    Thankyou. Is it ok to use the compost as a top dressing? I won't be using it to make my own potting compost any time soon.

    Definitely. It'll continue to rot down on your beds and will serve as a mulch in the meantime.

    I have some bare root hedge plants that have been in the ground a year ... would this compost be too potent to spread around them?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,739
    edited February 2023
    Home made compost is a soil conditioner, not a food source, so it's fine  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • A thread here for you here: https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/1068227/the-make-your-own-compost-thread/p1
    It's completely incorrect to state compost is not a nutrient source, if it's been made properly that's what it's used for.
    As for what you do with yours it's completely up to you. Use half made, or tip it out, put it back in and use it when finished . The choice is yours.
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,429
    Think I'd sieve the compost and starting a new compost heap with the bits that didn't compost. At least that's what I'm planning to do when mine looks to be ready after the summer.
    I do this. Usually I give the heap a good stir and fluff up a few weeks before digging it out, then sieve it into a dumpy sack when I'm ready for it. Any lumps go back in at the end for another go around. I keep my old secateurs handy to chop up any lumps like avocado and mango seeds that my wife has sneaked in before I could chop them the first time.

    If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs, you may not have grasped the seriousness of the situation.
  • I'm contemplating making a sieve with large-ish holes... i have some chicken wire. Will that be too sharp and end up slicing worms in two? I do have a garden sieve but the holes are too small for this purpose.
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