Making your own compost

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compost_bin_01-2I have been busily burying egg shells, tea bags and the peelings from vegetables in strategic holes around the garden over the past few months. Now I would be better off putting that to good use to make my own compost! What has put me off is those who have told me of their composting woes. So, I have been doing some research in advance of purchasing my own compost bin from the local council.

First things first, I will need to put in some twiggy material such as hedge clippings to help with air circulation at the base of the bin. To this will be added some more brown/dry compost material – about six inches deep and gently firmed in place. Examples of brown material include dried leaves, straw, sawdust, shredded newspaper, shredded paper, crushed egg shells.

The next layer is made up of green/wet material, such as grass cuttings, plant trimmings and dead cut flowers. It’s important not to include weeds that may carry seeds. Continue to add green material until you have the same depth as the brown material, about six inches. Never add layers of grass clippings more than four inches deep. Ideally this should be mixed with other garden waste. This is to avoid it becoming airless, which lead to it becoming smelly  – one of the composting woes I’ve heard a lot about.

Now you can add your kitchen waste, such as fruit and veg peelings, coffee grounds and torn up tea bags  and to this you can add a thin layer of one to two inces of fresh garden soil.

Now it’s back to stage one again, the brown stage and you continue layering in this manner until the bin is full. When full, water well and cover.It takes two to three months for the compost to rot.

Mmmh, still sounds complicated to me….

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