How to make compost
The other week we celebrate National Gardening Week, where hundreds of people get together to share tips, advice, and host garden open days and activities in order to help keep Britain beautiful.
You might not think there’s much to composting… you throw garden and kitchen waste together and wait for it to ferment! Well essentially yes, but we’ve dug, excuse the pun, a little deeper and put together a few facts on how to make wonderful compost that your garden, and the environment, will thank you for.
The fundamental process behind making good compost is to ensure waste vegetable material from the garden or kitchen is encouraged, through bacterial activity, to get very hot. This heat accelerates the collapse of the plant fibre, sterilizing it too. The 'finished' material should be a crumbly sweet smelling soil, packed with goodness to add to your existing garden soil.
The science bit over … here’s how to make your own:
1. Getting started - The Composter
Composts are best made within a confined space and in a composter with a lid. Whilst a composter isn't absolutely essential they do help keep your garden looking neat and easier to manage. And this is where Garden Trading have designed a couple of good-looking solutions. For a contemporary look, use a weatherproof, large galvanised compost bin, with a removable door and lid. Alternatively, for a classic rustic wooden look, choose an eco-friendly wooden composter – yes, our Beehive composter does look just like a beehive! For best results, position your composter so it gets a helping hand from some direct or dappled sunlight.
2. What should go in your composter?
Anything that was once living can be composted but best to stay clear of meat, dairy and cooked food as this can attract vermin. So from your kitchen waste it’s things like vegetable peelings, coffee grinds and tea leaves. And to make life easier for you, we have designed some perfect air-tight kitchen solutions to hold food waste before taking to the composter. Our attractive and durable compost bucket and our ceramic compost crock both come in a range of heritage colours and look great in any kitchen setting. The crock is fitted with a filter to control food odours and filter refills are readily available.
From the garden you can add grass cuttings, prunings, tree cuttings and any old bedding plants. But avoid nettle roots as they will continue to grow in your compost! To stop your mix getting too soggy we recommend adding some newspaper and card from cereal and egg boxes periodically.
With all this recycling you really will feel quite virtuous…
3.When is it ready?Your compost may take up to a year to make. The amount of time will fluctuate depending on temperature, moisture, composition and of course how much waste you have to compost. You’ll know it’s ready when the ingredients in your composter have turned into a dark brown, earthy smelling material.
4. How to use it?
Simple. Use it tactically, where its precious qualities will do the most good. You can dig this fabulous fertiliser into your existing garden soil, add it to your pots or use it by itself.
With summer fast approaching, what better time to start composting. So what are you waiting for…