I know that compost piles are ideally open to the ground underneath, so that worms and other soil life can move between the two but in our case bindweed would grow up in there too.
Could I put a very large flat thinish piece of wood down on the ground and then build a compost structure out of pallets on top of it. I’m thinking of a design where there’s a good foot or so of horizontal bare wood around each side at the base to provide a buffer of separation and we could keep an eye on it and pull up any bindweed trying to cross it.
Would such a compost pile still work even though it’s not open underneath? I figure we’d add some existing compost and worms in to start it off – maybe they’d survive and breed in there?
You may get bindweed growing back in if you leave the pile sit for a long time, but that will happen even if you raise it off the ground, and cover the ground. The bindweed will just come in from the sides.
I'm wanting to have the compost raised off the grond with a buffer of a foot or so or bare wood around it on all sides, which we would easily check and remove any bindweed from. We're going to be generally doing that on out plot anyway. So long as we keep checking it and removing any trying to cross the bare wood it shouldn't be possible for the bindweed to get in.
Henry Jabel wrote:The method you are suggesting I think is a good one and it will still compost as the bacteria etc is always there and if you add worms that will help speed things up. I think it's sensible of you to rule out the hot compost method, it involves more work (I can't be bothered to turn mine and its at the end of my garden not the allotment) plus our wet climate can sometimes cool things down a bit if its not under cover. If you are using pallets just make sure they are heat treated and not treated with fungicide that may leech out.
Whether it is raised or not, if you have moisture and some greens mixed with browns, you will still have hot compost, at least initially. The advantages to hot compost are many, and 15 minutes a week turning doesn't seem bothersome to me. Regardless, many people only turn their compost once. It is largely a matter of how soon you need the compost.