Each week on ‘Grow Your Own At Home With Alan Titchmarsh’, the gardener and his team share their wisdom into the world of growing fruit and veg.
‘All fruit and veg plants need one thing to thrive, and that is good soil,’ says Alan, his emphasis on the word good. ‘Good soil needs organic matter in it, to provide nutrients and to hold on to moisture.’
‘Those nutrients come from the compost heap,’ he explains.
Alan Titchmarsh’s top composting tips
‘A big garden needs a big compost heap, but even a small garden can fit one’. He recommends a wooden composter (such as above) at least a metre square, ‘any smaller and it tends to dry out,’ he says.
Ensure a good framework, to stop it ‘slivering and sliding all across your garden,’ he adds.
What to put on your compost heap
‘What do you put in? Your vegetable waste and your weeds. Soft pruning from flowers and lawn mowings,’ he suggests. He warns against adding some common garden weeds. ‘No thick rooted weeds, because they might survive.’
‘No food products from the house, no bread, no cooked vegetables,’ he advises. But he goes on to say, ‘Potato peelings are ok, and crushed egg shells are fine – they won’t break down but they’ll give it a bit of body.’
Once you’ve added all the ingredients, as Alan suggests, he then recommends his unlikely garden tip, which is to use carpet on the compost heap. How and why, you may ask?
He explains, ‘Get a piece of old carpet and chuck it over the top, and that will stop the sun’s rays from scoring it’.
You can put a hose pipe on it in really dry weather, but the rest of the time he recommends the carpet covering to help it along on its way.
‘It takes a few months for your compost to be ready, but once you get started you’ll be on a roll’, he says enthusiastically.
The gardening legend is on our screens every week teaching us to how to grow fruit and veg. Catch the next ‘Grow Your Own at Home With Alan Titchmarsh’ next Monday, ITV, at 8.30pm.