Composting: A Comprehensive Guide to Making Your Own Compost (Compost, Composting, Composting Guide)

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A properly managed compost bin will not attract pests or rodents and will not smell bad. Your compost should be ready in two to five weeks. Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

Making compost

Jump to main content. An official website of the United States government. Related Topics: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Contact Us. Make the front one accessible so you can shovel out the black gold without lifting too much. Compost will be found at the base of the pile. There are many compost bins to purchase and your local council may even offer a subsided one. These look smart and keep things tidy. They have an accessible door at the base to check on progress and remove finished compost. This reduces the need to turn the heap with a spade. I like this type a lot.

What Is Composting?

Standard heaps can take six month to a year to decompose fully, but hot composters can be done in a month. The down side is they use electricity and are pricey. They can be! Worms will naturally crawl up from an open base as they are attracted by the decomposing greenery; they help break down waste and clippings into beautiful compost. This produces smaller amounts of nutrient rich compost in soil and liquid form. Composting worms are different to the ones you find in soil.

They have names like Tiger worms or Red worms depending on the seller. Womeries are easily bought online or at a garden centre. They usually have two compartments; one for the waste and worms then another that fills with the liquid compost. You add kitchen waste to the worm room, but not onions — they hate onions, and let them eat away. Green waste feeds microorganisms and woody waste, whilst eventually feeding the organisms too, provides the proper air and drainage.

Activators taking the place of green waste contain nitrogen and brown waste activators contain carbon. Bits to leave out of the heap are meat, fish, dairy, cooked food, pet litter, nappies and perennial spreading weeds such as creeping buttercup and bindweed, which are virtually indestructible and simply re-root from every single chopped stem.

Also leave out any diseased plants like box blight trimmings or infected rose prunings. Just like building a fire there is knack to building the best, fastest decomposing compost pile. Eventually all organic waste will decompose but for the quickest results try this:. Put a 30cm layer of woody waste at the bottom to help air circulate.

Home Composting Made Easy - 8 Starting Tips About Composting For Beginners

Shred the bigger stuff to help it break down. Then add the right ratio from the lists above being careful not to put too much green or brown in at one time.

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For example, dumping all your lawn clippings in one go will smother and suffocate the pile. After a few days or weeks, depending on the temperature, your compost heap will begin to heat up. Sizes range anywhere from a half gallon for irregular use, to a full 5 gallon bucket for busy kitchens. Your compost heap or bin should be in an area which is easy to reach, first and foremost.

The general rule of thumb in terms of compostable materials is that if it once lived, it can go on!

To keep the micro-organisms that will transform your scraps into good soil happy, you need to keep the brown stuff to green stuff ratio. Green stuff : egg shells, fruit and veggie scraps, moldy bread, fresh grass clippings, weeds.

What is Compost?

Brown Stuff : wood, leaves, papers, nuts and shells, tea leaves, coffee grounds, dryer lint, pinecones, pine needles. Never compost nappies or cooked foods. Certain foods will attract pests and so should be avoided. Meat and dairy products in particular are among the biggest attracters of rats and the best waste food products are fruit and vegetable products.

Avoid using pet poo in your compost unless you are only going to be using it on ornamental plants. Never use it on vegetable plants or anything else that you plant to consume or use in some other way. Start adding your ingredients to the pile or bin.

Composting At Home | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle | US EPA

Make sure any large things are chopped up. Composting in layers of wet and dry can generally keep it pretty moist.


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If you are using a container for your compost, you can lay the mix of items on the bottom of it to a depth of about 12 inches and then replace the lid and return whenever you have more materials to add to it. If you are making a compost heap, lay the first layer right down on the earth or turf and then a layer of straw for insulation. Cover tightly with plastic sheeting or plenty of cardboard and return when you have more materials to add to it. Depending on what you add to your pile or bin, your compost could produce useable compost in two months or take as long as six months.

Keeping your compost covered will help, as a cover keeps in heat and moisture. Also, make sure to give it a good stir once in a while — oxygen is an essential ingredient to any compost pile or bin.

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