Compost Bays – Stage 1

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I mentioned at the end of my previous post that GMan’s latest garden project was building compost bays.

We have a small acreage (1.5 acres) in a temperate sub-tropical area with a high rainfall and good soil.  This means that everything (including the weeds) grows at a rapid rate and we are constantly trimming, pruning, weeding and mulching as well as the regular kitchen scraps.

There is a compost tumbler but this is nowhere near sufficient to keep up with the demand.  Over the years we have employed several methods of containing the compost, including a small rainwater tank cut down and 44 gallon drums plus enclosures made from a selection of wire panels.  At times these have been located within the vegetable garden area but as we expand the crops we are growing we needed a more permanent solution.

These photos show a couple of the previous solutions.

Cut down rainwater tank and compost tumbler in the background.

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Wire enclosure and metal rubbish bins beyond the garden beds on the right of the photo.

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We wanted our permanent compost bays to be within reasonable proximity to both the house and the vegetable garden/orchard.  The other limitation is that much of the land is either very steep (the rear of the block) or subject to intermittent flooding during heavy rain.  Therefore, the best site was quite close to our front boundary so it needed to be aesthetically pleasing.  This is no mean feat, considering that it will be constructed almost entirely from recycled and salvaged materials.

Two large panels of timber lattice will form the back of the bays and this will face the street.  We acquired these from a former neighbour about 10 years ago and they have been stored under the house.  GMan painted them ‘Woodland Grey’ to match the fence post and pergola.  The posts had been left over from previous landscaping projects and were painted and cut to length.

Because of the slope of the land, the bays will be stepped as can be seen from the height of the lattice.

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The central divider is made up of pieces of a roller door that retrieved from a friend – once again, many years ago. GMan riveted them together and cut it to size.  There will be a total of 4 bays, 2 on each side of the central divider.  These will be created using sections of Weldmesh panels which were here when we bought the house 14 years ago.  We have used them for a multitude of purposes but this will be the final location for some of them.

There is no more work happening on this today as GMan is the baker as well as the gardener/handyman around here and today he is making sourdough bread.

However, I will post some more photos when the compost bays are completed.  I will include a view from the street so that you can see how we have managed to keep it looking neat and integrated with the rest of the garden structures despite being only a metre from our front boundary.


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