Top Tips For All Composteers!
Tips from people who’ve ‘done it before’ are always welcome and composting is no different. Familiar worries – too much grass, weeds are growing in my heap, does my compost heap have to get hot – are not new and gardeners who have composted for a long time have some answers. Here’s what they say. Grass mowings: Mix well with browns to avoid a slimy mess. Alternatively leave them on the lawn, they will soon disappear and feed the grass; this will not cause 'thatch'. Grass cuttings can also be used directly on your garden beds and borders, just scatter them over the soil to be turned into the soil next time you hoe or weed. Sawdust and wood shavings: these are slow to decompose. Add to them to your heap in small quantities and balance them with the quick, nitrogen rich ingredients – organic, kitchen waste or grass cuttings for example! Animal manures: Strawy horse and cattle manure composts well but if you have manure mixed with wood shavings should be left to rot until the shavings have decomposed. Small pets, like hamsters, don't produce many droppings and you can add their waste as a strawy addition to the compost heap. Guinea pigs are marvellous - they love eating weeds and convert them quickly to prime compost material! Keep the compost damp: but not wet. If the compost is too dry add more fruit and veg peelings, tea bags and grass cuttings. If the compost is too wet add dry material such as leaves, sawdust, and cardboard. How hot is my heap: A warm/cool compost heap doesn't mean it isn't decomposing, just that the process will take a little longer.
And there are lots more Top Tips to be had from friendly, fellow composteers! Happy composting! Annie.
P.S. Did you know gardeners at the Eden Project in Cornwall believe passionately in composting and compost over 150 tonnes of waste each year, used to improve the soil in the Biomes and gardens across the site.