Compost Corner

In the back corner of my backyard, behind the chook shed and out of sight from the house and entertainment area, I have what I’ve dubbed “Compost Corner”. Here I have 2 bath-tub worm farms, 4 compost bins and usually a stockpile of bags of horse manure, and spilt lucerne if it’s available, from the local horse property.

Most of this area is the shadiest and coolest part of the garden, so it also shares some space with my orchids, ferns and a Davidson’s plum. There is also a chair here because this area also gets the nicest breeze in summer, ironically. So, along with my love of compost, it’s just a really pleasant place to be, and I’m usually there, pottering around, mixing each of the bins, assessing moisture levels and decomposition rates, or adding more materials, at least once every weekend, if not in between as well.

I also grow a few ‘nutrient accumulators’ and ‘compost activators’, namely comfrey and nettles, which get chopped up and added to the mix from time to time, or when Hubby complains about getting stung, in the case of the random nettles that pop up all over the place, usually hidden under something edible so you brush past them as you’re harvesting. (But don’t dismay, I’ve done a quick tute on how to pick nettles without stinging yourself, tried and tested it on Hubby, although he remains sceptical :P).

Here’s a quick bit about comfrey and nettles. You can also refer back to my article about Chook Fodder for more uses for comfrey.

Comfrey is high in potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients1 and nettles are high in nitrogen, iron and magnesium2, but are low in phosphorous, and are an indication of fertile soil3. Both also make great ‘compost tea’ to use as a tonic for your plants2,4. Nettles are also edible. No, I’m not kidding. Their high nutrient load makes them very nutritious and can be added to green smoothies5, soups, tea and pestos where cooking and the action of the food processor neutralises the stings. So give it a go some time :)