As you can see, I have some helpers. This morning I turned over the compost. The bin was three quarters full and getting a bit damp so it needed turning over. I didn't want to undo the ties at the sides of the bin so I wriggled and wriggled it until the sides came loose enough from the compost to allow me to drag the bin up and off.
Setting up a new Compost Bin
The soil was a bit uneven beside it so I levelled that out and placed the bin just beside where it was before. It suits me to have it here. It is in shade so the little worms and slaters that live amongst the composting material don't get cooked in the summer.
It is also near my chickens shed and the lid of the compost bin serves as a shelf for me to store the chooks food on. So, all in all, we are all happy. Whenever I go to place peelings etc in the compost bin, I can say hello to my little friends as well.
The rubbish on top of the compost bin was placed as a bottom layer in its new position. bit by bit I filled the bin to halfway. There was some silver beet stems (sometimes called chard), that were still rotting down and lots that had already decomposed. There were lots of slaters. These seemed to live in the uppermost layers where things were dryer.
As I dug into the damper compost it was alive with long wriggling worms. I's sorry I did not have my camera with you so I could show you a photo of them. There were dozens of them. Some of these were forked into the new bin to continue their work.
As you saw, my chickens moved in so they will devour some of them and the rest will wriggle their way into the soil or move onto a new part of the garden as I move the compost around.
How to make a Compost Heap
There are lots of bins or boxes you can buy to make a compost heap. You can also make one yourself out of wood and wire or just wood. The bin needs to have some air getting into it so have some slats or holes around the sides.
Once you have this part all organized its a matter of filling the bin. Our bin is filled mainly with kitchen scraps but this means it does not have to go out in the weekly rubbish. Collect old grass, dried leaves or garden cuttings. This can be alternated with kitchen scraps, old newspaper - ripped up a bit, or old bills or shopping dockets you don't want to throw in the recycling. The worms won't read your private information.
Bit by bit fill the bin. Occasionally you can add a catcher full of grass clippings as you cut the lawn. Just make sure that these don't mat and that they mix with the other rubbish. Stir it with a garden fork occasionally and in a few months time you will be surprised to see all the insects and worms living in your heap and working for you - unpaid. The bin will get full and the next week you visit it you will be surprised that the rubbished has shrunk. Where did it go? It's turned into compost!
The compost at the bottom of the heap will be ready first as it will have been there the longest. So just do as I did this morning, turn it over, start again and spread the compost around your garden.