Step by step guide to making compost
- Find the right site
Site your bin or heap on bare soil. If space is limited, put your bin on concrete, tarmac or patio slabs, but make sure there’s a layer of soil or existing compost on the bottom so garden creatures can colonise. The site should also have good drainage, easy access be in sun or partial shade.
- Add the right ingredients
Fill your kitchen caddy with everything from vegetable and fruit peelings to teabags, paper towel and egg shells. Take care not to compost cooked food, meat or fish.
- Fill it up
Empty your kitchen caddy and your garden waste into your bin or heap. Remember, a 50/50 mix of greens and browns is the perfect recipe for good compost. If your compost is too wet and gives off an odour, add more browns. If it’s too dry and is not rotting, add some greens.
- After 9-12 months
- The ingredients you have put in your bin or heap should have turned into a dark brown, earthy smelling material at the bottom of the bin, which can be dug out, with the newer material being left. Don’t worry if your compost looks a little lumpy with twigs and bits of eggshells – this is perfectly normal. Simply sift out any bits and return them to your bin or heap.
Once your compost resembles thick, moist soil and smells very earthy, it's ready to use.
- Collect the compost
Instructions will be delivered with your bin. But all you have to do is lift the bin slightly or open the hatch at the bottom and scoop out the fresh compost with a garden fork or spade.
- Use it
- And watch your garden bloom. Compost can be used for all types of planting needs – vegetable plants for allotments; general potting (if mixed with ordinary soil); or flowerbeds and enriching new borders by mixing it into the existing soil.
For more information on how to use your compost please see the Recycle Now website.