Turning usual kitchen waste into compost, which is useful for the garden, as well as saving the planet.
Making compost can be considered to be complex. But if you put in the right ingredients, nature will do the rest. There are a few pointers in this article, however, to help you make compost more efficiently.
Compost has several benefits for the environment, including regenerating poor soil and reducing the production of methane. Around 40% of the average dustbin contents is suitable for composting, so you are helping reduce landfill sites as well. If you care about the environment or are a keen gardener (or pehaps both), don’t waste anymore time- get composting!
What do you need?
- A garden fork (for turning)
- A compost bin (or similar). You can build your own, or buy one from a supplier. B&Q have them for less than £20. The council also offers them at a discounted price. Get in touch with your local council to find out more or visit www.recyclenow.com. Alternatively, you can simply make the compost in a heap and cover it with polythene or cardboard. However, it is easier to make in a bin and also looks neater.
The best kind of compost bin is one with no gaps, is easily accessible and has a lid or cover. You also may like to line it with straw to get the best results.
The bin shown above is perfect, and is the same type as the one you can buy in B&Q. There are other types available and the type you buy will depend on the size of your garden and where it will be located. There are wooden ones on the market, which I would not suggest, The best would be a plastic one since the plastic will not rot.
Where should you put the bin?
- In a location which is sunny or partly-shaded, but not in complete shade. An area of the garden which gets the sun at a certain part of th day would be fine.
- Directly on soil or turf
- Away from water
What should you compost?
For a high quality compost, there should be a mixture of brown and green ingredients (see below). It may take a while to get the balance right but experience will help. If most of your kitchen waste is food products, add some egg boxes and the inside of toilet rolls to create a bit more balance.
- Comfrey leaves
- Grass cuttings
- Raw vegetable peelings
- Tea bags/leaves, coffee grounds
- Egg shells
- Soft green prunings
- Animal manure (only from herbivores, eg cows, chickens)
- Cardboard (cereal packets and egg boxes)
- Waste paper
- Bedding from pets, e.g hamsters or rabbits (must be herbivores)
- Hedge clippings
- Old bedding plants
- Fallen leaves
DO NOT compost:
- Cooked food
- Dog faeces
- Cat litter
- Disposable Nappies
Published in: Gardening