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Home composting is using your kitchen waste and garden waste to make your own nutrient rich compost that you can use to help feed your flowers, plants and vegetables.
Did you know you can make leaf mould? All you need is a big plastic bag and some leaves.
Or if you grow vegetables, you can chop up the leaves and spread them over your garden, it will rot down over the winter and you just dig it in before planting next year.
By composting your garden and kitchen waste you are reducing the amount of waste going in your food and garden waste recycling bin. Composting at home provides a home for a range of mini-beasts and worms that turn your food and garden waste into compost.
Sometimes hedgehogs may find a home in your compost, it’s warm and full of worms! So when you decide to turn over your compost just check that it is a hedgehog-free first!
To find out how you can encourage wildlife into your garden, yard or window box download the My Wild Garden booklet
Most composting systems should be in shade and away from the sun. Ground-based compost piles and bins should be placed on bare soil so that bugs and worms can get into your bin. A wormery can be placed in a shed to protect it from extreme weather conditions. Bokashi containers can be kept in the kitchen.
Visit the Compost Instructions website for a list of what you can and can’t add to your compost bin.
Yes, especially in rainy Greater Manchester! A cover stops it becoming waterlogged in winter and keeps moisture in during the summer. You can cover open compost piles with things like plastic, old carpet or plywood.
To begin with, the progress may seem slow but once you get going you will have a supply of compost all year round. This does depend on how you manage your compost and the type of composting system you use. Compost turned regularly can take between 6 months and 2 years to be ready. Composting is not a sprint it’s a marathon!
Compost doesn’t take much maintenance time at all! The only difference is that you are putting some of your food waste in your compost bin instead of your wheelie recycling bin. You just need to turn the compost once a week.
You don’t need garden or a lot of space to start composting. There are lot of different sizes and types of bins and containers – you can even make your very own!
There are two reasons why mice and rats may be attracted to compost. One is for food and the other is warmth. To stop this from happening, bury food waste in the compost and remember don’t put meat, fish, bones or dairy products in your compost. Place the bin on a surface rats and mice can’t burrow under, like thick wire mesh. Also turn or mix up the compost regularly, this will discourage any nesting.
A well-managed compost should not smell or be slimy, but if it does there a few of reasons why this may be happening:
Make sure your compost is covered, turn the compost and add some drier ’brown’ materials such as leaves, hedge cuttings or shredded plain paper or card and give it a good mix. Only put raw vegetable and fruit kitchen waste in your compost or consider a composting system specially designed to take all food waste such as a Bokashi bin.
Add more green waste such as veg peelings, grass cuttings.
It’s a fact that flies are attracted to rotting food. However, there are simple ways to avoid your compost attracting flies. Make sure you mix and bury your food waste within your compost. You can also add a layer of brown materials such as leaves, shredded paper, or sawdust on top of each time you add food waste. If you do get flies try leaving the lid off for a few hours on a sunny day, then place a layer of wet newspaper on top to create a barrier before you replace the lid.
Do you have questions or tips to share? Comment below.