Top Tips for Composting
International Compost Awareness Week 6th-12th May 2012
Calling all gardeners - is your compost more mushy than magical? More whiffy than wonderful?
Compost is a great, inexpensive way of improving your garden that makes use of uncooked food scraps and other household waste - but it can sometimes be difficult to get it right.
As it’s National Composting Week from May 6 to May 12 now is the ideal time to perfect your compost recipe.
Take a look at the simple steps below for some top tips on getting the balance just right.
Plus, thanks to Derbyshire County Council, you have the chance to win £25 worth of garden centre vouchers just by answering some simple questions online.
Top Tips to successful composting.
What can go in your compost (remember you’ll need a good 50/50 mix of green and brown materials)
• Tea bags
• Grass cuttings
• Vegetable peelings
• Old flowers / nettles
• Coffee grounds and filter papers
• Egg shells
• Egg and cereal boxes
• Corrugated cardboards and paper
• Toilet rolls and kitchen roll tubes
• Straw and Hay
• Twigs and hedge clippings
• Tissues, paper towels and napkins
• Ashes from wood, paper and lumpwood charcoal
What can’t go in your compost:
• Cooked vegetables
• Dairy products
• Diseased plants
• Dog mess, cat litter or baby’s nappies
Once you have started filling up your bin remember that patience is a virtue. It takes between nine and 12 months for your compost to become ready for use so keep on adding browns and greens. Remember to turn your compost occasionally to get air into it and then let nature do the hard work. Derbyshire County Councillor John Allsop, cabinet member for technology and recycling, said: “We’re hoping lots of people join in and start composting at home if they aren’t already. “It’s not hard once you’ve got into the hang of it and the end result is nutrient-rich food for your garden. “Now is a good time to start as it’s a time when many of us are tidying up outdoors so you can put all those cuttings and clippings to good use. “By putting less rubbish in your dustbin, you’re helping to reduce landfill, protect the environment and preserve precious resources.”. Once your compost has turned into a crumbly, dark material resembling thick moist soil and gives off an earthy fresh aroma you know it’s ready to use. Your homemade compost can then be put to lots of different uses, from enriching flowerbeds and pot plants to growing herbs and feeding your trees. The county council works in partnership with Even Greener to offer discounted compost bins from as little as £16 plus delivery charge.
For more information go to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/composting or call 0844 571 4444.
• In order for the composting process to work it needs four things: food, air, moisture and warmth
• If your compost is too wet and is a bit smelly add more brown materials.
• If it’s too dry and is not rotting then add some green materials.
• Air is essential to the composting process and by mixing material up and adding scrunched up browns such as cardboard as you fill your bin, it will create air pockets and help keep your compost in tip top condition.
• Keep it all warm by placing a flattened cardboard box or piece of old carpet on top of the compost materials.
• Picking the right site is important - partially shaded or sunny spots on a flat area of ground with bare soil is perfect, but compost bins will work fine if sited on grass covered areas.
• For more tips see www.recyclenow.com/home_composting
Did you know? Composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the Co2 your kettle produces annually.
Did you know? Up to 30% of the average household’s waste is organic and can be composted.
For a chance to win £25 worth of garden centre vouchers visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/composting and answer three simple questions about composting. (Online competition closes June 29th).
See attached photograph of a composting bin.