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Would you water your compost?

Article from Oxfordshire Master Composter, Jean Glendinning.

UK vs Greece water articleThis year my compost heap was submerged by the floods early in the year, but amazingly the worms survived, climbing into the lid of the bin for a watery respite.

At the other extreme, I have the care of a compost heap on a windswept Mediterranean island, where the main problem is trying to add enough greens and retain moisture in the heap.

So when I am there, waste water is added and the heap is always kept covered to retain moisture and protect it from the sun.

Often when I talk to people about their compost the focus is on checking that the green to brown balance is correct. In the UK this usually means advising people to add more browns in the shape of shredded twigs, cardboard or paper. In Greece, the opposite is the case. Nearly everything is a brown, especially in the summer, and searching for greens is the challenge.

But the dynamic for good compost is not just the green to brown balance but also the wet to dry and the heat to cold.

In the UK, with the domination of greens (often from grass cuttings) throughout the summer, the problem is rarely one of moisture. But with our increasingly dry weather there may be a time when ‘watering the compost’ will be added to your gardening ‘To do’ list.