Today was compost heap day. Suzy and did a grand job and heaved all the newer top layers out onto a sheet on the back bed. This year’s very recent additions were easy to move and then gradually it became more of an endeavour. Taking the front off the heap showed good layers and then we started digging out the proper compost, making two big piles of really well rotted material. Any big pieces were thrown back on the pile to go round again.

Digging down far enough we were able to clear the compost from the wrong side of the posts and tied the chicken wire tightly to them to stop the sides bulging out so much. Neater and better airflow. The green wire doesn’t last all that long, but it’s a good start.

The robin was all around us while we worked, thoroughly enjoying the various things we were digging up. The strata of compost were interesting and it was good to find that although there were a few pads of grass stuck together, you’d never guess that there was 6 years’ worth of mowings in there. We also found some ornamental gourds, from probably 4 years ago, which could finally be broken down and crumbled. By no means were all the gourds found though, which just shows that this does all break down eventually – oh, but not fruit stones just yet.

We scrapped out a bit more than this, but have left the more compacted stuff. The pile at the back was diminished and spread out so as to mix with what we put back. Suzy heaved forkfuls from the pile into the heap and I trod it down to make sure no more pesky holes would form.

The compost heap has now gone from stuffed full to less than half full. We’ve done a great job, but it’s also quite nice to know that it won’t be worth again doing for a few years yet.

We ended up with two big heaps of compost and had managed to keep the grass pretty clean with the sheets we used. A number of sticks from the heap were added to the hugel stick pile and then in the afternoon we went to gather more from the park.