Garden compost – Five Steps To Making Really Useful Functional Compost
We here at Kentcare want to tell you how to make the best garden compost heap so that it will smell nice and sweet and do wonders for your garden or business premises- well, maybe not “smell” exactly “nice” but you will get our meaning!
Step Two: The Contents
Now the really messy stuff: what goes in it, what can we make into compost.
In short anything with an organic origin, that will rot down.
Obviously we do not want to put the remains of the Sunday joint in for obvious reasons, every rat within a mile radius will beat a path to your compost for a feed.
Similarly we don’t want to put the remains of next doors cat in there when he has used your shrub beds for a toilet one time to many, tempting though it may be.
The issue here is not really what goes in but how it goes in.
Take for instance grass clippings, a fine compost material but every gardener will tell you not to rely on grass cuttings alone on their own.
A heap of grass clippings will swiftly become a stinking morass.
However mixed with some weeds and shredded woody material such as rose prunings to allow the air to move through it they would be fine, believe me.
So what we are looking for is a nice diverse mixture of different types of material.
We should mix our heaps like a nice rich fruit cake adding ingredients in just the right proportions to get a good texture.
This is best achieved by reserving winter produced woody materials and tough weeds in a separate heap and shredding them before adding them.
If you are choking on the thought of buying a shredder don’t, hire one.
They don’t cost a fortune to hire and you could club together with a couple of gardening neighbours to defray the cost further, trust me it will be worth it when you see the end result.
Another advantage of using a shredder is the noise, the larger shredders sound like a banshee in pain and are ideal for wreaking dreadful revenge on that anti-social neighbour down the road who likes to play Karaoke at an unearthly hour in the day.
All this rambling brings us to the somewhat vexed question of kitchen waste (vegetable, not animal or mineral, of course). Some things rot down slower than others, and there is nothing you can do, just trial and error will identify the quick reducing friends from the slower degrading others.
It seems that whatever you do some compost always turns out looking lovely except for the recognisable stuff like banana skins and eggshells peppering it like decorations.
The best answers I have to this problem include the use of a wormery.
I have seen many of these in action and have been impressed by how simple and effective they are. A guide to making one can be found here
or buying one from a responsible manufacturer who offer further information here
They can be fascinating to glance at on a daily basis to see the progress being made.
Of course there is an alternative which is to give up on rotting these items down and put them in your regular bin. Does everything have to be recycled? Environment? Cost? Try to do what you can and then sleep well! Everyone has waste but the skill is what to do with it!