Making compost Charles explains his 7 heaps in 2019, by Charles Dowding

Jeremie Litzler
  • Permaculture
  • Gardening
  • Charles Dowding
  • No Dig
  • Compost
About 2 min

Growing great vegetables, it's not only vital for no dig, it's just vital for growing wonderful healthy plants, giving lots of growth and a high efficiency of output per time invested

View of the main heaps of Homeacre
Credits: image taken from Charles Dowding’s vlog

Thanks to Charles Dowding for sharing his wisdom and knowledge! I wrote the following notes watching the video published on Charles Dowding's channel. You can watch it using this YouTube linkopen in new window.

It's worth spending time making some decent compost because it has a multiplier effect all the way along down the line.

Heap location

It's very convenient when you've got your heat reasonably central, because then it's less time needed for bringing stuff to the beds.

In No Dig gardening, it is the main input of time: applying the compost.

What makes great compost

First, you've probably noticed some heat in your compost: it is the batteria at work, especially when you have got a lot of green in.

Second, the fungis are important as well. They don't like it too hot, hence, not going above 70 °C is important to them alive.

Third, a good balance of green materials and brown materials added in the heap in layers to help the decomposition to happen.

Depending on your location and weather, you will want to avoid the heap to be under the rain, if you receive as much rain as Charles.

Covering the heap will be necessary then.

Also, putting in fibery materials like stems, paper or cardboard will help to bring some air after mixing it in the heap.

When is it ready

Well, that depends on your condition and the following checklist:

  • is it still warm?
  • has it been turned?
  • has it been decomposing for 6 months at least?
  • is there any worm?

Then you can go ahead.

Also, it will depend on how much heat you were able to have. The more you heat the compost (staying under 70 °C for the fungal activity), the fastest the compost will be ready to use.