Compost, Comfrey and Wormery
I have become slightly obsessed over the past two years about making my own compost for many reasons; reducing waste, having a source of organic matter without having to buy material in and moving to a no dig approach.
Despite mulching my veg patch at the back end of last year with said compost I was still short of space for all the compost material I was collecting from the house and garden, particularly kitchen waste, as material doesn’t break down as quick in the colder winter months. Inspired by Professor Dave Goulsons (Twitter @DaveGoulson ) book ‘The Garden Jungle - Gardening to save the Planet’ I decided to set up a home made wormery with a 75L pot, some used compost, handfuls of worms from my compost heap and polythene bag as a lid and tucked it behind my children’s playhouse last November.
I decided to open it up and see the results in the 5 months it had been in place, it was impressive with all material composted except the eggshells in to a black friable compost, I will keep this until the end of the growing season and add to the material in my two compost heaps.
On my compost journey I have also planted Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x Uplandicum ‘Bocking 14’), a non invasive form of comfrey so I can produce my own natural fertiliser solution (Comfrey Tea) and to add green matter to the heap to enhance its nutrient value. It is high in potassium, an essential nutrient for plant growth, especially fruit and flowers. It has the added bonus that it’s loved by bees. To make comfrey tea, fill a bucket with a lid with comfrey leaves and weigh down with a brick and fill with water and leave for 2-4 weeks before straining the liquid. Dilute it with water at around 1:10 and use as a high potassium feed for fruits flowers and vegetables. Be warned the liquid stinks!
Try composting in a heap or a wormery by mixing green and brown waste from your house and garden. I really recommend reading Professor Goulsons book, it’s a brilliant, easy read whatever your gardening knowledge, style and experience and will give you pause for thought.