Gardening Composting

Garden Compost Bin Gardening composting is worth doing even if you only have a very small garden. It is a good way of recycling some of the kitchen waste and garden cuttings to produce compost, which can be used to feed and condition the soil.

Easy steps to Composting

Gardening Composting bins

There is a wide choice of gardening composting bins, which are made from recycled plastic or wood - or you could make you own. If your bin is on show you can purchase more attractive composting bins.

Using a compost bin will help speed up the composting process as it will insulate the compost and keep it warm. It is possible to produce compost from a heap but it is a much slower process.

What can I put into a gardening compost bin?

A garden compost needs to be made up with a mixture of green and brown matter.

Green matter is high in Nitrogen and includes grass cuttings, annual weeds, fruit and vegetable kitchen waste.

Brown matter is high in carbon and includes prunings, paper, card and dead leaves.

What to exclude from gardening composting.

  • Cooked food (this can be added into a wormery)
  • Grass clippings where weed killer has been used.
  • Seeds from weeds
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Diseased plants
  • Glossy magazines
  • Dog and cat faeces

There are several ways to accelerate the compost

  • Compost heaps require turning, this allows air into the heap and speeds up the decomposition.
  • Accelerators can be purchased to speed up the compost process. This helps to balance the green and brown mix. If you have mainly a green mix try adding paper, card or add a high carbon activator. If the mix is mainly brown add extra grass clippings or a high nitrogen activator.
  • If the compost heap gets too dry add some water as it needs to be kept moist.

What methods can be used to produce gardening compost?

The fast method requires heat within the pile, this is achieved by making the pile and filling up the bin in one go. This heap needs to be turned on a regularly to allow air in. Using this method compost can be produced in six to eight weeks.

The slow method is the most popular as waste is added gradually; this will normally take several months.

Gardening Composting Problems

If you find that you gardening composting bin is too smelly, you will need to add some more 'browns' into the mix.

If your gardening composting bin is filling up and it doesn't seem to be doing anything you may have too much 'brown' matter in the mix, try adding some more 'greens'.

If you have too many flies in your composting you can cover the pile with a layer of 'brown'

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Did you know?

Compost needs to be made from a mixture of 2550% of green and 50-75% of brown matter.

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