All about compost

The true heart of any serious veggie gardener has to be the compost heap. Compost is exciting! I love compost! Here is a photo of my old compost bin which I dismantled yesterday. In its place is a larger structure made from two wooden pallets on which German motorcycles had been imported into this country. The new bin is about 8ft x 4ft - photo to follow. The idea behind compost is that you improve the texture and structure of your soil by adding organic matter or humus (not the stuff made from tahini and chic peas - that is houmus!). Anything that has lived can go on the compost heap. Cotton, wool, cardboard, newspaper and fruit and veg waste. There are a few exceptions to the rule, citrus peel, coffee grounds, avocado or mango stones, and whole egg shells.
The idea with a compost heap is that you should aim to make a bolognaise sauce and not a lasagne! By this I mean that a compost heap should be completely turned, mixed to aerate it, and it should be moist but not soggy. There should be a mixture of fresh green and dry brown - this being nitrogen and carbon. The larger the compost heap the easier it is to heat up. The compost heats up and slowly rots down.
Anyway, enough of that. I picked my first asparagus yesterday! two fantastic spears which were tender and tasty. I am still picking PSB, and have some fantastic Winter lettuce 'Valdor' which has been completely hardy, being covered in snow only a few weeks ago. The spinach and Swiss chard 'bright lights' is also going great guns. I took a risk and planted out some Marmande tomatoes in a sheltered corner of the garden. I sowed my tommies in January in the greenhouse, they are nearly a foot tall now, and already have trusses of flowers. My outdoor first early potato Rocket is up already, and the ones in the greenhouse in a bag are even further on. It has been 70 degrees for the last week or so, even my beetroot seeds Perfect 3 and Detroit 2 are up after only 4 days in the ground. I thought I would try different varieties this year as my old favourite Boltardy has had mixed reviews in the light of the newer improved varieties. It's all happening down on the allotment, blink and you'll miss it!