Composting: Free with little work

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FOLLOWERS of this column are now given part two on the subject of making garden compost. If space is available, many people will probably resort to using their garden waste to make their own compost and this can be very successful, providing quantities of a nutrient-enriching medium – and all with little work and all for
free.

Good garden compost is ready when it is dark brown, having a crumbly soil-like texture and with a smell resembling damp woodland. In other words, good to handle and a good earthy smell.

If it is wet, slimy and smelly, then there has been too little air getting to the heap and too much moisture. The answer is to cover it and add more ‘brown’ waste; there has probably been too much ‘green’ such as grass cuttings.

Alternatively, if the heap is dry, fibrous and not rotting down, then there has been too little moisture and too much ‘brown’ material such as shrub cuttings, so to counteract this state add more ‘green’ soft waste.

l WITH the council’s decision to cease the regular kerbside collection service, many people will be faced with the problem of gettng rid of the stuff, especially certain times of the year when even the twice-a-month uplift was not enough. Anyone without a car, more likely the elderly, will be faced with the biggest problem and will no doubt have to resort to putting it in the general household waste bin.

I was under the impression the original idea for the uplift of garden waste was that it would be composted and used by Scottish Borders Council on flower beds and other areas under its control.

As there will now be none available, proprietory composts to improve soil condition and mulching will have to be purchased – and what will that cost? On the other hand, is the idea just not to keep flower beds etc enriched at all
as another money-saving scheme?