Make your Own Compost
Home compost is an important ingredient of healthy garden soil. Use it as a soil conditioner or a garden mulch to help replenish what has been depleted from the soil by plant growth.
Making your own home compost is a great way to reduce landfill and to help meet local recycling targets. In ideal conditions it can take as little as eight weeks to create a fully composted home compost that is ready to use in your garden. This home compost assists the natural cycle, adds beneficial ingredients and nutrients to the soil and improves soil moisture retention.
There are three main types of composting systems, compost heaps, compost bins and wormeries. Once you’ve decided which to use site it in a warm, sheltered place as close as possible to the source of waste materials.
As a general guide pretty much anything that will rot down naturally will compost but for the best results there are a few rules to apply:
Good to Compost
- Garden waste such as grass clippings, leaves, weeds, old bedding plants etc
- Cardboard such as toilet rolls, egg boxes
- Kitchen waste; fruit and veg peelings, eggs shells, tea bags and coffee grounds
Things to avoid
- Prickles, spines and thorns
- Perennial weeds and weeds that are flowering/seeding. Roots of weeds such as couch grass or bindweed
- Large amounts of newspaper, small amounts are fine
- Uncooked meat, fish, eggs, cheese, fat and all cooked foods as these can attract flies and vermin
- Cat and dog waste – it can spread disease
- Disposable nappies and plastic – they wont break down
- Ash from coal fires – it can contain toxins
- Plant material that has been treated with weed or moss killer
- Glossy magazines – the inks may be toxic
- Fat and Oil – these will not break down
If you want to speed things up use a compost activator like Westland Make Your Own Compost. It contains a balanced mixture of composting microbes and exactly the right levels or organic nutrients to support their activity and kick start them into action. It’s a great way to get a new heap started.