Spring is one of the best times of year to get out in the garden and start composting. Whether you’re starting composting for the first time or have composted for a while, this is the time of year you can get the most reward. Find out how best to compost during these warmer months.
We all know when spring has finally sprung, as the days grow longer and flowers begin to bloom. Now’s the time to ensure you place your bin in a spot that gets some sun during the day. The warmer weather will raise the temperature inside your compost bin and speed up the composting process.
Spring is often when you have a lot of wet materials, such as grass cuttings and garden prunings. For best results, make sure you add dry materials in equal amounts. Scrunched up cardboard, eggshells and old newspaper are great for this. Make sure you turn the contents in the compost bin regularly to create pockets of air. This ensures that the compost bin doesn’t get too wet, reduce odours and help speed up the composting process.
If you have been composting for 9 to 12 months you should find the contents at the bottom of your bin crumbly and dark in colour. This indicates the soil improver is ready to use around your garden. You can feed your plants with your homemade soil improver to add nutrients and structure to the soil.
Vegetables tend to grow better if the soil improver is dug into the earth. Potatoes, cabbages, squashes, peas and beans particularly prefer this. But root crops, like carrots and parsnips, don't tend to grow so well in rich soil.
Soil improver is also good as a mulch. You can spread soil improver over the surface of soil as a covering in late spring. This helps to keep moisture in the soil, moderates soil temperature and suppresses weeds.