” Readers may know that compost is a subject close to my heart – whether made from leaves in cages, out in kitchen waste in wormeries – in plastic bins and receptacles of all sorts. It pains me, therefore, that too many allotmenters and gardeners try to make compost in uncovered open-slatted bins, and particularly bins made out of banged together pallets.
But you may be muttering, that it the good old-fashioned allotment recycling way. Yes, but it doesn’t work properly. The wide, open slats of pallets let in too much air, the contents dry out and, inevitably, only the core of the pile rots – very slowly.
In some cases, I have seen weeds starting to grow on them: harmless and even picturesque in the case of nasturtiums, perhaps, but depressing (and alarming) in the case of invasive nightshade, nettles or bindweed. Some savvy pallet composters insulate their bins by stuffing the cavity walls or lining them with old compost bags and then keeping them covered (which is important). But most don’t.
So, with all this in mind, I rather impertinently approached my local fencing/gate/shed company Tate Fencing and asked if they would like me to help redesign a (rather too small, open-slatted) compost bin that they sold. I thought they might send me packing, but the head honcho Lyndon Davies liked the idea.
The result – 900mm square, solid-sided, in kit form – is now on sale, for just less than £60.00. And, furthermore, the company will ship them (for a bit extra, of course) to just about anywhere in UK mainland. Have a look on tate-fencing.co.uk/ Remember, you will ultimately need two – one to “feed” and one to “cook” – and that you should ideally cover the contents of each bin with a square of butyl rubber (an offcut of pond liner) or something similar.
And (full disclosure dear readers) the reward for my input? I get the handsome prototype to replace a very old bin – and just as important, the kind Mr. Davies has offered to assemble it for me on site.”
Written by Helen Yemm, Saturday 14th February, Gardening Section of The Telegraph
To view our compost bin, please visit tate-fencing.co.uk/product/compost-bin/
To view further advice and articles written by Helen Yemm, please visit www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningadvice/helen-yemm/
or visit Helen’s website helenyemm.com/