Home-made compost contains loads of nutrients that plants love - such as nitrogen and carbon – and if you add it to your garden soil it will be even better for growing things.
Composting your kitchen and garden waste will give you an environmentally friendly source of organic matter - and it’s free! It will take about six months to produce compost that’s ready for planting your favourite flowers or fruit and vegetables.
What You’ll Need
A compost bin or old dustbin with holes in the bottom and some waste. (The worms and micro-organisms will find you!)
You’ll need a sunny corner of your garden to put your bin (or you can build your own from recycled timber – look on the internet for ideas). It needs to be placed on the soil as you want worms and other micro-organisms to come up through the soil to help, and for any liquid to drain away. And it will need a cover to keep the rain out.
This is the most important part. You’ll need to keep adding equal amounts of nitrogen-rich green waste (grass clippings, green leaves, weeds, vegetable kitchen waste) and carbon-rich woody waste (prunings, wood chippings, paper, cardboard, straw or dead leaves); so for every wheelbarrow load or bucketful of cut grass, you should mix in the same volume of sawdust, shredded cardboard or other woody waste. Avoid meat, fat and cooked food otherwise you’ll just attract foxes, rats and other vermin - also worms don’t really like citrus remains.
Composting is a biochemical process whereby organic matter is decomposed by naturally occurring micro-organisms. Keep the compost heap moist, warm (wrap with a piece of old carpet in winter) and aerated as these are the conditions that worms and micro-organisms love. Turn your heap occasionally with a garden fork to let the air in, making sure that you mix all the oustide ingredients to the inside.
When the mixture is brown and crumbly and smells a bit like a damp wood, then you’re ready to use in the garden!