Constructing the Compost Heap

After spending the morning dashing here and there to pick up wooden pallets, my husband and I lugged three new pallets to the plot to join the one I had brought home from work. The compost heap has been an eyesore on the plot for years but until last season, it blended into the scruffiness at the top of the plot. With the shed upgrade last spring and the new works in progress, the compost heap looked even worse. Enough is enough. Today the compost heap would be sorted.

Grabbing a fork and the wheelbarrow, I made a slow start, removing the soil and detritus. I dragged wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of soil down the plot as I excavated the pallet collars that formed the containing walls of the compost heap. Eventually, I had removed half of the heap and dumped the rotting pallet collars further down the plot. I levelled out the ground where the pallet collars had been before starting on the second half. I had forgotten that this half had three pallet collars, the bottom of which disintegrated as I tried to remove it. With the clearance of the compost heap, I could see the full side of the shed for the first time in years – the bottom could definitely do with several coats of paint!

Once the whole area was cleared, I spent several minutes wrestling the pallets into position. I didn’t want the back wall of the compost heap to be too high and block out the side of the shed. Equally, it couldn’t be too wide which would cause issues with the shed door. Propping up the pallets against each other, I considered whether this configuration would work. I thought it would and began to screw the sides to the back of the compost heap. I got just enough screws in to hold it up before I remembered that the front of the compost pile would need a smaller wall. Armed with the saw, I cut down the last pallet and placed it at the front. It’s the perfect size although I need to level out the soil a bit more before screwing it into place.

By now it was getting towards tea time and the weather was closing in. I gave the pallets a brief sanding to take the worst of the splinters off. The new gap between the side of the compost heap and the path to the shed, looked a bit odd until I put the mushroom logs and the blueberry pot in front of it.

Tomorrow’s job is to add a few more screws to ensure the frame is strong and do some painting. It looks so much tidier and with a lock of paint, will no longer be the eye sore it was! Inevitably, as one part of the plot is tidied, another needs work. The patio and greenhouse are my next focus so that the top of the plot will be presentable and ready for the new season.

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