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Author Topic: Sheep's wool compost  (Read 9673 times)

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Sheep's wool compost
« on: March 28, 2011, 04:11:15 pm »
Has anyone heard of this?

Apparently you make it with bracken and sheep's wool.

We have a few sheep and a LOADS of bracken growing up on the common land on the hillside here.

Anybody any experience of this?

(I am going to put this on the sheep forum too)

Susanna
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woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Sheep's wool compost
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 06:52:12 pm »
Yes!

However.....you will need to dry, combine and chop the wool and bracken.....which believe me is not easy as greasy wool blunts blades.
You then need to compost it in a very big hot composter for it to break down.......sounds easy but its not. If you have a root chopper you could chop the bracken in it but the wool is more problematic as will not chop in root chopper...I have tried!!!

Good luck!
www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sheep's wool compost
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 11:49:01 am »
I have heard that you're supposed to bury a fleece under rhubarb plants as a slow-release fertiliser, so I guess it makes sense.

Let us know how you get on!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Sheep's wool compost
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 02:24:36 pm »
Wool does take ages to break down under normal circumstances and if you spread it on your veggies too soon and then use a rotavator, it gets all tangled - I have done this  ::)  I am slightly concerned about the use of bracken - are the spores not carcinogenic?  Presumably you would have to harvest it at a time when there were no spores.
Would it work to layer wool and bracken, both unchopped, then leave them in a covered heap to get on with it for a few years?

I would rather use wool in the garden in a number of different ways. Really daggy bits can be spread under fruit bushes for the mucky bits to wash down to the roots (while remembering about the rotavator bit at a later date). Or the daggy bits can be soaked in water to make a yummy liquid manure for dilution and use on the veggies, then the wool goes in the bottom of the compost heap. Whole scruffy fleeces which are no use for anything else can be spread over the compost heap to keep the warmth in - after a few years of use they are then put in the bottom of the next heap and they will eventually disappear.  They can be used to line hanging baskets or in the bottom of tubs (to stop the soil falling through the holes).  They can be used in the bottom of potholes before the stones go in and they help to bind it all together (stone felt)
Bracken can be harvested, dried and used as bedding for animals - but what about the carcinogenic spores?
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Sheep's wool compost
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 04:33:00 pm »
The bracken is broken down with the wool by the heat of the composter.....therefore no spores will be left as all black and crumbly.....problem is it takes ages to break down if no heat... :-\
www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Sheep's wool compost
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 04:58:12 pm »
So if you added in lots of grass clippings and urine that would accelerate it enough to get nice and hot  :yum:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

tom1984

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: Sheep's wool compost
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 07:50:32 pm »
really daggy bits make an excellent slug repellant around the veg patch apparently.

 

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