Where There's a Will ...

compostgardenYou can never have enough compost, and that's a fact. However you can, from time to time, have too much compostable material, which is exactly the predicament I found myself in after Waitangi Weekend. Thanks to an overly damp spell (my euphemism for a rubbish summer!) which brought about rampant growth, and a holiday weekend where all my beach-house neighbours kindly donated me their lawn clippings, my compost bins were in "floweth-over" mode. No matter how much I bounced on the greenery, there came a stage when it refused to compress any further. But, ever grateful for compostable material, I refused to dump it and, instead, did what I always do on this sort of occasion: I dived under the foundations of the house and hauled out my special short coil of cyclone wire.

Released from the strings which bind it, the coil expands to the circumference of one of those fancy, lidded, black polythene compost bins I'm always hankering after (I've put one on my next year's Christmas hint list!). My next move was to sit the ring of cyclone on a level spot of ground, join the sides with some string, and thread a couple of waratahs or stakes, one on each side, through the wire. Once I'd hammered these supports into the ground, I then lined the inside of the coil with cardboard cartons (opened out and overlapped) in order to keep out all light from the edges of the temporary compost bin. After that, it was a simple matter of tossing in a layer of sticks or branches to help with aeration, and then filling the structure with the green material, layering in the usual manner.

The very best thing about this make-shift composter is that when you do have free space in your regular bins, this one can emptied and quickly dismantled for use another time. Alternatively, if you don't already have a compost bin, why not construct, and stick with, this easily assembled, low-cost model!

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