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Solitaire

I'm Sure We Have Some Composting Experts

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I've been clearing our car parking area where I live. The tarmac goes right up to a long hedgerow so over the years there's been a build up of leaves etc that have fallen onto the tarmac allowing mainly nettles to grow. It's a shame for the ladybirds (mostly Asian Harlequins) and butterflies but it needed to be cleared and I'm left with a large pile of mulch like matter that has been at least 20 years in the making.

I thought I'd have a go at growing some veg in tubs next year so I was wondering if I could use this stuff instead of having to buy in bagged compost?

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I've been clearing our car parking area where I live. The tarmac goes right up to a long hedgerow so over the years there's been a build up of leaves etc that have fallen onto the tarmac allowing mainly nettles to grow. It's a shame for the ladybirds (mostly Asian Harlequins) and butterflies but it needed to be cleared and I'm left with a large pile of mulch like matter that has been at least 20 years in the making.

I thought I'd have a go at growing some veg in tubs next year so I was wondering if I could use this stuff instead of having to buy in bagged compost?

My initial thought would be that it is chock full of weed seeds. To get around that there are wo possibilities open for you - sterilise it, or use it as compost dressed with a 2-3 inch thick layer of bagged compost over the top. The nutrional status would be an open question, you probably would find it a bit acidic if tested, and low in minerals.

Personally, I'd try to sterilise it and use the John Innes formula for making composts, using this as the "peat" fraction.

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Leaf mould is really good stuff if it's fine for seeds when its fully rotted. It doesn't have much in the way of nutrients though so you'd need to feed it up a bit. Some chicken muck pellets would do. And possible a liquid feed or two.

I'd bag it up and leave it til spring and then use it to sow stuff in or mulch bits of the garden with it. Or throw it somewhere to make a bed to plant in next year. The worms will love it.

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Ah ok thanks, so perhaps if I used a combination of both your ideas? Mix in Chicken Manure Pellets and then top it off with bagged compost. I'll be using it in large tubs as I only have a small garden so no room for a veg patch as such.

How do I sterilise it?

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Did we ever find out who won in the great allotment war of earlier this summer?

(Sorry, don't mean to hijack your thread. It just made me remember all the angst :-) )

My thoughts on your compost is, even with compost, it is best to try and put some good stuff in to make the compost if you intend to grow things that you will end up eating.

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Did we ever find out who won in the great allotment war of earlier this summer?

(Sorry, don't mean to hijack your thread. It just made me remember all the angst :-) )

My thoughts on your compost is, even with compost, it is best to try and put some good stuff in to make the compost if you intend to grow things that you will end up eating.

Yes, I think you're right there. I can make a space for a proper kitchen waste composter in the garden but I guess it'll take a year or so for it to produce a usable quantity of compost.

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The term 'composting expert' could be used in a derogatory fashion. Must remember that one for the future, thanks. B)

Eh? I don't understand, what derogatory fashion? :o

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Did we ever find out who won in the great allotment war of earlier this summer?

(Sorry, don't mean to hijack your thread. It just made me remember all the angst :-) )

My thoughts on your compost is, even with compost, it is best to try and put some good stuff in to make the compost if you intend to grow things that you will end up eating.

Well one battle was won by the good guys (us!) and that situation was neatly revolved. Although it did involve someone taking their ball home with them (And the pitch, the goal posts, the stands etc) but alls well with that one.

Latest one is all very silly really. Someone has dumped a load of broken glass on the car park. Have taped it off and put notice up to warn people. He's just an annoying old git. I've been trying to resist not posting about it all really as I think it's probably a bit dull. We know who's done it, just got to find time to deal with it and him.

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The term 'composting expert' could be used in a derogatory fashion. Must remember that one for the future, thanks. B)

Nah.

You should have a look out for the York Rotters though! :)

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