In situ Composting
When garden composting there are always times when the compost bin is full and you have a glut of excess green material you cannot feasibly turn all into compost using traditional methods. One of the situations for people when composting gets tricky is when you simply try to compost too much material at once, it becomes hard to turn over, aerate and keep moist and you end up with a non biodegradable mess. This is where In-Situ composting can be implemented and actually mimics nature in the way materials can be composted.
Quite simply in-situ composting is a system where you basically lay out green waste materials on top of the ground to decompose back into the soils surface. At first thought this would seem untidy to most gardeners but it is surprising just how quickly green waste will shrink and decompose into the soils surface. It makes sense that this method can be quicker and more efficient as first thought as this is how composting actually happens in nature. This type of soil amendment is in keeping with no dig gardening it also helps suppress weeds and keeps the soil moist in warm conditions.
In-situ composting whilst beneficial for garden soil can be just a little too unsightly for some people but there is a similar way you can implement in-situ composting without having green waste on the gardens surface. Digging linear trenches in the soil about a foot and a half deep and layering green material inside is another more slightly way to in-situ compost. Manure can also be added to the trench which is simply filled back in with the dugout spoil. This process improves the nutrient, nitrogen and moisture retaining capacity of the ground. A good tip is to mark the trench with canes so you can grow hungry crops on top of the composting trench the following year.
In its simplest form in-situ composting doesn’t even need to go that far you can simply dig a round hole in the garden, fill it with all types of organic matter and when its nearing full simply fill in the hole and start a new one if needs be.
In-situ composting is simply the easiest way to make garden compost so if you don’t have a compost bin or tumble don’t worry in-situ composting could be the method for you. Happy composting!