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Digital Subscriptions > Kitchen Garden Magazine > July 2018 > ’QUICK RETURN’ COMPOSTING –DEVELOPMENTS AND ADAPT ATIONS


Following on from last month’s article on Quick Return (QR) composting, Andrew Davenport explains how the QR method and its powerful herbal activator have been developed and adapted
Cold composting can be speeded up with QR

Some of the developments in QR composting are from the original work by Maye Bruce (the inventor of the method back in the 1930s), some are developments from my own experimentation and some are useful discoveries by a group of Benedictine nuns in Germany.


Miss Bruce latched on to the concept that if you can retain the heat generated by the bacteria in the heap, then this would increase the speed of decomposition. She would use sacking or carpet on top of the heap as insulation. So insulating a compost bin is a sound idea as long as you don’t cut off air to the decomposing material within since the beneficial aerobic organisms we want to encourage require air for their bodily processes. With the advent of plastics came the plastic cone-shaped compost bins I refer to as ‘Daleks’. They are ideal for composting kitchen waste. ‘Daleks’ can be adapted by applying waterproof insulation to the outside of the bin. Not only will this make compost more quickly, it will enable compost to be made all year round.The easiest way is to wrap bubble wrap around the to form a nice thick layer – 10cm (4in) is a good depth which will make quite a difference to the insulating properties of the bin.

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250th issue! Sweet success - Grow bumper crops: Climbing beans... Sweetcorn... Blackcurrants Digging for the future - meet the kids that know their onions Discover - Veg in the garden of Eden (Cornwall!) Make more of your herbs Don't just smell the roses - eat them too! PLUS: Build a bamboo wall frame - Make your own delicious summer cordials