Compost for a garden pick-me-up

Sheena Adams shares the ins-and-outs.

Credit: Flickr / solylunafamilia

It’s almost time to refresh our garden soils by reducing compost piles and transferring nutrients into our gardens.

Here are a few tips to help get your compost ready: 

• Give the pile a thorough mix, switching the layers around and moving the less broken-down material to the centre, where it will break down faster.

• Add newspaper or brown matter like dried leaves if the pile seems too wet and winter heavy.

• When you think it’s ready, use a screener to start sifting and sorting. Put the fines into a useable pile, and return pieces larger than a bottle cap to the compost pile. 

• Rake the grass after the first cutting of the lawn and add the nitrogen-rich greens to the compost to heat it up.

• Replenish exhausted and depleted soil by digging compost into your garden beds prior to planting, or layer it on as a nourishing water-retentive mulch.