Our next team member is Alan

"I have two bins and I am quite proud of the compost. I compost fruit and veg peelings, flowers, soft garden cuttings, prunings and a small amount of grass clippings. I have a council green bin for woody cuttings, brambles, rose prunings and larger quantities of grass. The bins are in the shade which is not ideal but it is the only suitable place.  They are on the soil and I have chicken wire across the bottom to stop any rodents. I fill one bin each year, and then give it a whole year to compost down while I fill the other one.

When I empty the bin out I sieve the compost and anything that is too big to go through the sieve goes back into the other bin for another year! The compost looks good and works well dug into my small veg patch or put in hanging baskets or tubs.

I do have a problem that the compost does not kill all the seeds and so I can get weeds growing up where I have used the compost!  However if you pull these out as soon as they germinate it controls them.  We have stopped putting any tomatoes in the compost as they are the worst, with little tomato plants popping up in my hanging baskets! Also the bin I am filling can get lots of small fruit flies. They are very annoying and if anyone knows a cure that would be very useful".

Yes I agree those small fruit flies are very annoying and it’s unpleasant to get them in your face every time you open the bin. They are harmless though and play their part in breaking down the organic matter from your kitchen feeding on the sweet sugars released as the peelings break down. These tips may help:

  • Keep fruit and veg peelings covered as you collect them for the next trip to the compost heap.
  • Keep adding green and brown ingredients to ensure the compost doesn’t get too wet. Fruit flies love wet, humid conditions.
  • Give them the run-around. Confuse them immediately by covering any peelings you add to the compost with other compost ingredients like torn cardboard or grass clippings.

I hope this helps Alan, Annie.


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