Compost Heaps As Gardens
(South West France)
Utilising compost heaps as gardens are easy to begin just by cutting grass and chucking it on the compost heap with other kitchen waste, a good way to get a really first class bed going.
Well, we all knew that didn't we. But one year when I was sieving the compost (I leave the grass and stuff for 2 years to mature nicely) I couldn't believe what I was doing; moving perfectly good soil from one part of the garden to another. So, I experimented and just planted directly into the old compost - and with great results.
This year, I have a two year old heap with pumpkins growing like crazy; the three year old compost pile has courgettes that have also thrived; the four year old heap has tomatoes and the older ones I planted beans, beetroot, carrots and salad greens.
The compost heaps are arranged into raised vegetable beds and the soil is light, free-draining and perfect for roots. As I use a crop rotation system, the oldest heap is destined to once more be covered in grass cuttings and vegetable garden waste. A second composted bed will be taken out of production next year, but by then the latest two beds will be online and growing vegetables.
I live in France and the neighbouring farmers are used to seeing the daft Englishman doing strange things (laying hedges provoked great interest) so this is just one of them.
Hello Andy, what a fantastic article about how your experimentation with compost heaps has developed into such an amazing self sustaining eco system. I hope many of our visitors will copy your approach.
I often say in my articles about how much scope there is to experiment with growing vegetables - your article proves the point.
How about a few photos to show off your enterprise...
Thanks and well done - Laurence