Easy composting tips your should know

Composting is a green way to turn your organic waste into the nutrient-rich soil your garden requires. Here are some composting tips you should know.

Easy composting tips your should know

Getting started the right way

Compost can be made in a heap, piled on ground that has been well forked over, but a bin is more convenient and gives better results.

  • This can be made of plastic or from slats of wood as a one metre (three foot) cube.
  • It takes up to a year for garden waste to rot down to usable compost, so ideally you will need three bins: one filling, one rotting and one with well-rotted compost, ready for use.
  • Many plastic bins have a flap at the base for access to the ready-to-use compost, while you continue to add fresh waste at the top.

What can you compost?

  • The best compost is made from quick-rotting green waste — vegetable peelings, grass cuttings and soft-stemmed annual weeds — plus an equal quantity of more fibrous material, such as trimmings of garden plants.
  • If you can, add them in alternate layers, chopping or discarding any thick woody stems that will be slow to rot.
  • Don't add a lot of grass cuttings all at once: try layering them with shredded newspaper.As it rots, turn the heap a few times, ideally into a second bin, or simply into a pile and then back into the original bin.
  • If it's slimy or smelly, add some straw or newspaper. If it doesn't seem to be rotting, add more green matter, a compost accelerator or sulphate of ammonia from the garden centre.

What not to compost

  • Perennial weeds, such as couch grass and convolvulus, will grow from the smallest pieces of root left in compost. Put them in a strong plastic bag with grass mowings or soft annual weeds, tie the bag and leave for at least six months. They can then be added safely to your compost heap.
  • Burn diseased plants or take them to your recycling centre.

Making leaf mold

Decomposed leaves make an excellent soil improver, but they can take two years to rot in a compost heap. Try these methods instead.

  • Put leaves into heavy-duty plastic bags, punch holes in the sides, tie them and leave for a year. If necessary, allow another six months before using.
  • To speed rotting, spread leaves out on the lawn and mow them with a rotary mower to chop them up before packing them into bags.

Composting is an easy and eco-friendly way to reuse your waste. Keep these tips in mind and get started today!

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