How to Make Your Own Compost
Your compost is a nutrient-rich food product for your garden and will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels and keep your soils pH balance in check while helping to suppress plant disease. Compost improves your soil's condition and your plants and flowers will love it.
Setting Up Your Bin
The reason you should site your bin on soil is that it makes it very easy for beneficial microbes and insects to gain access to the rotting material. It also allows for better aeration and drainage, both important to successful composting.
Please find listed below a list of items you can add to your bin to make the best compost. If you aim for 50% "greens" and 50% "browns" in your compost it will make for the right mix.
Quick to rot and provide nitrogen and moisture:
Animal manure with straw Bindweed Bracken
Brussel sprout stalk Carrot tops Citrus peel
Coffee grounds Cut flowers Fruit peelings and pulp
Fruit seeds Grass mowings Hay
House plants Old bedding plants Tea leaves and bags
Vegetable peelings and pulp
Slower to rot, provide carbon and fibre and allow air pockets to form:
Autumn leaves Cardboard Christmas tree
Cotton wool Egg boxes Egg shells
Hair Natural corks Nuts
Paper bags Sweetcorn cobs Tomato plants
Used kitchen paper Vacuum cleaner contents Wood ash
Things to KEEP OUT of Your Bin
Bones Coal ash Olive oil
Bread Crisp packets Plastic bags
Plastic bottles Cans Dairy products
Cat litter Nappies Soiled tissues
Cigarette ends Dog food Cling film
Meat and fish scraps
So if you are into recycling or gardening then you may find the above information useful.
Using Your Compost
To find out if your compost is ready to use, check to make sure your compost is dark brown and smells nice and earthy. It should also be slightly moist and have a crumbly texture.
Don't worry if you have twigs and eggshell still in your compost, just simply sift it out and put back in your compost bin.
Once ready you can use your compost in flowerbeds, enrich new borders, as mulch, around trees, replenish pots, in patio containers, growing healthier herbs and vegetables and feeding your lawn.
Now you know what to do to make your own compost.
It does take a year for your compost to be made and to be at its very best.
Have fun gardening knowing your compost is all home made and that you are doing your bit for the environment!