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A Short Guide To Composting

Every year we throw tons of food scraps into our bins with the rest of our black bag rubbish, sending it off to landfill and wasting a natural resource that could have been turned into nutrient rich compost for our indoor plants or the garden.

Lots of people are put off by the idea of composting, assuming it involves a whole lot of mess, bad smells and a giant garden with a dedicated compost heap!

Composting does not have to be messy, there are lots of different methods you can use and it can greatly reduce the quantity of black bag rubbish you throw out. So let’s take a look at the types of waste you could be composting and some of the easiest methods…

KITCHEN SCRAPS

Whether at home or in the workplace, there are lots of waste items generated that can easily be composted, including;

  • Teabags and coffee grounds
  • Citrus peel, banana skins, fruit peelings and cores
  • Potato peels and any other vegetable peel or leftover vegetables
  • Eggshells
  • Stale bread

Avoid putting meat or dairy products into your compost as these could attract rodents or local dogs and will generate unpleasant whiffs! But essentially any other food waste you produce in the kitchen can be composted.  Keep a plastic or metal bin in the kitchen at home or at work and encourage everyone to use it.

COMPOSTING METHODS – WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?

Trench Composting

This is so simple… just dig a small hole or trench in your garden, empty your kitchen waste into it and cover over with soil… Dig a trench of approximately 12” deep, then work your way along it, covering it as you go until it is full.  With this method, the composting process occurs on its own, adding nutrients to the soil with minimal effort on your part.

Compost Tumbler

A compost tumbler is a very neat and tidy way to deal with small quantities of compost and a great alternative to an open compost heap if you find them off putting. They are closed containers so there is no danger of attracting rodents and the contents are easily rotated, (tumbled) with minimal effort. Within 6-10 weeks your compost will be ready to use!

TRADITIONAL COMPOST PILE

You can use an open pile, however most people tend to build a very simple, wooden structure with four walls to contain their waste and keep it looking tidy.

For this method to break down quickly, you need alternate layers of wet and dry waste i.e. vegetable peelings, kitchen waste, or cut grass, followed by a layer of straw or dry leaves. You should aim for a balanced mix of the wet and dry materials.

You will need to turn your compost every now and again with a pitchfork to aerate it and you will also need to keep it moist. With the right balance of waste and sufficient water and air, you can create excellent compost in as little as 30 days!

EASY COMPOSTING

It is so easy to make your own compost from materials that would otherwise end up rotting in landfill sites. Minimal effort and zero expense to achieve your very own, nutrient rich organic compost for your plants. What have you got to lose!?

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