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An Idiots Guide To Composting

Compost is one of nature’s best mulches, plus it’s free! One of the main perks of using compost is that you will be improving your soils structure - compost will loosen any clay type soil and help a finer soil retain water and moisture. Additionally, adding compost will not only stimulate healthy root growth but it will also improve soil fertility and provide crucial food for microorganisms, which is what will keep your soil in a healthy and balanced condition. Here’s a straightforward, no-nonsense guide on how to do it, what not to do and the benefits.

Compost Bin Or Compost Heap?

The easiest and least expensive way is to create a compost heap, however if you prefer something more neat and compact try a compost bin.

Find The Perfect Spot

Choose a level, well drained area for your compost heap or bin to ensure excess water drains away. Remember too much sun will dry your compost out however, too much shade will keep it overly wet – something in between is ideal.

Put The Right Stuff In!

Good things to compost include; vegetable peelings, fruit waste, grass cuttings, fallen leaves, cardboard and paper.

Don't Put The Wrong Stuff In!

Remember your compost isn’t a bin and there are some items that you should never put in including meat, diary, fat and oil products, pet faeces, diseased plants or weeds, human waste or charcoal.

Shopping For Tools

A compost fork or shovel will help turn and toss a large compost load into your garden. Moisture is essential to your compost, so a hose with an adjustable nozzle is also a good shout.

The Tiger Worm

Quicken up the process by adding some worms. The most efficient worm loves to eat its way through organic waste material converting it into compost on its way.

Maintaining A Green/Brown Balance

Make sure you keep a good green/brown balance of materials to ensure you are making the best possible compost. If it’s too moist add more brown material, if it’s too dry add more greens. Simple!

Add Fallen Leaves

Autumn provides the perfect time to add another great source to your compost. Once you have gathered up the fallen leaves from your garden place in a sack and store them until you need more brown material.


Another tip for faster composting is to mix up the materials by giving your compost regular turning using a folk to encourage the material to aerate – once a week is sufficient.

Is Your Compost Ready?

When it’s done you will find a spongey, dark brown almost black soil in your bin or heap. Spread the finished compost into flowerbeds to improve soil quality, retain moisture and suppress any nuisance weeds!