Your compost is ready when it looks like rich dark soil and smells earthy.
To harvest the whole lot, pull the compost bin up and off the compost pile (if you've rat proofed with wire then untie it from the bin first)
Re set-up the bin nearby
Shovel any unfinished layers back into the compost bin (now's a good chance to fix any problems if needed, such as adding nitrogen, carbon or water. See the composting tutorial for more info).
Spread the remaining pile of finished compost around plants and build up garden beds.
Always mulch over the top to keep your compost and soil alive. Leave a 5-15cm gap around stems and trunks to avoid 'collar rot'.
If you're doing any other spring gardening, remember to stock pile garden scraps near your compost, so you can add equal portions each time you add kitchen scraps.
Breeding Up Worms...
Worms eat their weight in food each day. So the more worms you have, the more your worms will eat. Spring and autumn provide optimal breeding temperatures.
Fluff up their bedding and give them some space. Mix in some shredded newspaper (soaked), coconut fibre or compost. Worms breed better with more than their own poo and food to bed in. (If your wormfarm is full, you can harvest some castings to make room. See the wormfarm tutorial for more info.)
Give them some extra food. Slowly increase the amount of food you give them each week. You need to make sure everything is eaten before adding more food, as uneaten food will go mouldy.
Give them a treat. Worms breed faster with their favourite foods and smaller pieces. Put a bit more thought into giving them food they love, and help them get in the mood to breed.
Planting / Sowing
Summer vegetables are mostly sown in spring.
Plant now: capsicum, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, basil, beans, pumpkins, sunflowers, watermelons.
Plant your seedlings using the compost you have been making all winter. Compost and mulch adds valuable nutrients, encourages the necessary microbe and helps aerate the soil. Adding compost will also assist the soil to absorb and retain water.
(From the Woman’s Weekly "The Cooks Garden Cook book")
2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, quartered
1/3 cup (50g) roasted pine nuts
½ cup (40g) coarsely grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup (180ml) olive oil
Blend or process basil, garlic, nuts and cheese until chopped finely. With motor operating, gradually add oil in a thin steady stream; processing until smooth.
Prep time 10 mins. Makes 1 cup
Note. Pesto will keep, refrigerated, for up to one week; spoon into a screw-top jar and cover with a thin layer of olive oil. If you to keep it longer, freeze in the same container. Pesto will never freeze solid because of its high oil content, so you can easily remove a little at a time.
Spread the Compost Love
We have almost reached our 100th member of the compost revolution in Hornsby, help the revolution spread; send your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to Compost Revolution
to do the tutorial, to get a half priced compost bin or wormfarm.
Compost with Your Community
If you've an idea on composting in your community let us know and we can support with advice and resources.