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Compost Advice

I've recently been taken on to look after a huge garden, (lucky me).  

The previous 'gardener' has been dumping grass clippings and fallen leaves together in one huge bin (pallet sided) about 10ft x10ft. to a depth of about 5ft now. 

I don't know if this is going to work, I suspect not. I fear a huge mess to clear in spring. I compost successfully in my own garden and am more than aware of the principle of browns and green mixed evenly.

I've told the owner I'll have to rebuild the bins anyway as they are falling apart, and build a separate bin for leaf mold.

Has anyone either come across this or done this successfully? 

Any input would be gratefully received. 


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,864

    I'd agree with Edd, it'll be fine. Can't think you'll have to do much more than perhaps a bit of mixing and leaving it for a while.

    Also agree that 2 or 3 bins is better. One to fill, one to "rot" and one being emptied is ideal. ( if there's room )

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    In my first few years of gardening I use to have the same mix as that is all I had available, as long as it gets some air and doesn't rot anaerobically to become useless 'slime' it will be OK. You can always introduce some other material to even up the mix a little as you go, cardboard would make a good choice.

    I've composted with perfect green/brown mixes to produce fast compost, I've composted 70% soil and grass and leaf mixes, in all it is just the time it takes, rather than if it is possible or not.image

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,298

    And even if it is slime you can still use it, just dig the stuff into the soil and it will soon turn into decent stuff with the help of the soil creatures.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Went today and  scrapped out half of it (hard work), and to my surprise it's doing better than I feared. Thanks guys.

  • Why not pull it all out and turn it? Good exercise and most warming! Do it once a month and it will be pure black gold in no time. Great for the soul. Who needs gym membership?Great new year's resolution.image

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    One of my water butts has sprung a leak, tried allsorts to fix it ( not liquirice ones) so with the bottom cut off and some holes drilled in the sides, I now have another compost bin, you can never have too many.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Dave, 2 of my bins were turned the other day and, like you, I was pleasantly surprised with the progress. I had assumed they were inactive. Have now covered with a tarpaulin to keep out any more moisture for now, and hopefully keep temperature up a degree or two.

  • I thought it was only me who got excited when they see a worm or two in the compost bin "doing there job" imageimageimage

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    A piece of carpet, especially foam backed is good for keeping the warmth in.

    If we didn't turn ours often it would become very active, and I don't mean with worms!

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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