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Everything you need to know about compost

October 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Allotments & Gardens, Featured Posts

compostComposting is an eco-friendly way to get rid of your food scraps and feed your garden.

What many people do not know is that homemade or organic compost is actually more nutritious for gardens than store-bought alternatives. runs through everything you need to know about composting at home.

What can be composted?

Food and garden scraps are the main items to be used in the compost. But it is important to get the correct balance to ensure the compost breaks down efficiently. Everything from grass clippings and leaf waste to fruit and vegetable pieces can be put into a compost system.

What compost bin should I choose?

There are a range of compost bins on the market but not all will suit your needs. First think about how much waste you will be putting in the bin because this will give you an idea of the size to choose. Next look at the space in the garden you plan to place the bin because this will dictate the shape of it. If wildlife or local pets frequent your garden then it is important to choose an enclosed compost bin which will not be easily knocked over or opened.

If you have the space, a traditional wooden bin which is open to the elements will always compost materials at a faster rate and can be easily loaded using a wheelbarrow. Start by identifying your needs and then choose a bin to fit.

How do I start?

When starting the compost process it is important to use some finished compost at the bottom of the pile. Finished compost has been through the stages of decomposition and will encourage everything else in the compost bin to follow this process. Borrow some finished compost off a green-minded friend or purchase some from a garden centre. Next to go in the compost bin is brown and green organic matter from the garden. Dead leaves and plants go in first to make up the brown section. Then green contents can go into the bin, including kitchen scraps, grass clippings and weeds.

How long does the composting take?

A natural decomposition for the average garden compost bin takes between three and 12 months to fully complete the cycle. This is dependent on the size of the bin, the amount in the bin and the temperature experienced during the composting cycle.

For more information about the garden and ways to become more sustainable at home, visit

Image credit - Thinkstock/Pixland

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