Composting on the Allotment
The case for making and using compost on the allotment is getting stronger for numerous reasons. Two important ones being :-
1. Improving the soil and thus your produce.
2. Saving money and time (reduced watering).
Making compost, like having an allotment, is a DIY activity. The process can be as simple as just putting weeds, vegetable scraps, grass cuttings and cardboard into a compost heap and leaving things to happen in 12 to 18 months. Alternatively with a bit more effort and thought, quicker and better results can be achieved by more careful mixing of compostable ingredients, by shredding of 'woody' material and adding activators to accelerate the process.
Compost has the following benefits to the soil which will result in better crops:-
1. Improves the soil structure.
2.Contains valuable nutrients to aid fertility.
3. If used as a mulch, or dug into planting trenches, it will retain moisture and so reduce the need for frequent watering in hot weather.
Money can be saved by :-
1. Reducing the need for fertilisers.
2. Reducing the need for peat products and soil conditioners.
3. Avoiding the need to buy manure.
Caring for the environment and doing our bit to reduce global warming is a positive spin off from compost making. It's claimed that over 30% of household waste is readily compostable.
Nailsea Allotment Association
Many weeds are compostable particularly when young and before going to seed.
However avoid perennial weeds such as couch grass and bind weed.
Place in your 'green bag' for roadside collection or isolate the plants, dry and burn.
Old bushes, thick stalks and raspberry canes etc can be shredded and added to compost heaps.
Drying and burning or disposing of them at a local recycling centre are alternatives.