Home composting is a great, sustainable way of recycling kitchen and garden waste, whilst also creating an excellent soil improver for your garden. Here are our top tips for composting at home.
Home Composting – What to compost?
During the autumn when leaves are falling, gather up your leaves and add them to a compost heap. However, avoid forming heaps exclusively from fallen leaves. Mix in other woody brown material such as prunings, along with shredded paper and cardboard, and green matter such as vegetable waste, annual weeds and grass clippings. A healthy heap should contain a good balance of brown and green waste to help it decompose efficiently.
If your heap is too wet the chances are it has too much water or nitrogen. Turn the pile regularly to aerate and keep the temperature under control. Add some brown materials like shredded cardboard, newspaper or small twigs to balance it out.
The opposite is happening and you may have too much brown material. Add a layer of green together with a splash of water and a sprinkle of Garotta.
A BIT SMELLY?
It’s best not to add fresh food waste to to the pile like meat, fish or dairy. Not only do they make the pile smell bad but it can also invite unwanted pests to your garden.
If the process is too slow you may find that your brown material is too large. Make sure you shred the sticks and tear the cardboard into smaller pieces to increase the available surface area for the microbes to get to work on.
WHERE TO USE
The compost you create can be used as soil conditioner or a garden mulch to help replenish the nutrients that have been depleted from the soil by plant growth. Use all around the garden on your beds and borders or in your vegetable patch.