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  • What are your top tips for composting?

    Hello everyone. As usual we like to include your comments and thoughts in the magazine. So we would love to know what your top tips are for producing good quality compost?

  • #2
    would love some proper advice on this, got one of those "know it all" family members, who told me just chuck all your fruit and veg wasted in a pastic bucket put some compost on top and leave it for a year. I know have that plastic bucket out the back full of compost and fruit which hasn't even changed.
    Bojack : One day, you’re gonna look around and you’re going to realize that everybody loves you, but nobody likes you. And that is the loneliest feeling in the world

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    • #3
      I keep a live culture going (i.e. live bacteria) from one compost heap to the next. Also move a few red worms about if needed.
      Location ... Nottingham

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      • #4
        I'm not one for the turning over the compost - too much hard work. I use a number of Daleks and clip together bins which can be moved from bed to bed or around the plot. The ingredients are allowed to mature and break down in their own time.

        I just fill them with garden waste, bokashi and cardboard then leave it to do it's stuff - occasionally watering it, poking it with a metal spike to let air in & water to soak in or using a compost aerator to mix it up a bit.

        And nutrients leaching from the bin are absorbed by the plants in the bed and at the end of the year the stuff has mostly broken down and can be spread on the beds and the bin moved on.

        Things like sprout and kale stalks or tree prunings need to be broken up and bashed with something heavy to break open the fibres so that they break down earlier - they may still need to be sieved out and thrown in the next bin.

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        • #5
          Good mix of brown and green waste. Occasional water if it's getting dry. I've run a couple of drain pipes through the middle of mine with a lot of holes drilled through - trying to ensure oxygen is getting to the middle of the heap. Bigger the better as that encourages higher temps and leads to quicker breakdown. Chuck in some soil or used compost to introduce bacteria and worms...
          sigpic
          1574 gin and tonics please Monica, large ones.

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          • #6
            My 3 chickens do the work!
            I throw grass cuttings and vegetable waste in their run, with shredded junk mail and their bedding and let them rootle around in it. Add a handful of corn and they'll do all the turning and aerating it needs. After a few weeks its cleared out into a pallet compost bin to sit until needed and the chickens are set to work on some new material.
            Happy chickens, Happy me!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Baldy View Post
              Good mix of brown and green waste. Occasional water if it's getting dry. I've run a couple of drain pipes through the middle of mine with a lot of holes drilled through - trying to ensure oxygen is getting to the middle of the heap. Bigger the better as that encourages higher temps and leads to quicker breakdown. Chuck in some soil or used compost to introduce bacteria and worms...
              Hi My Baldy,

              I read on another thread that this didn't work to well, What happened?
              I'm currently building something very similar, what were your findings?
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Baldy View Post
                Good mix of brown and green waste. Occasional water if it's getting dry. I've run a couple of drain pipes through the middle of mine with a lot of holes drilled through - trying to ensure oxygen is getting to the middle of the heap. Bigger the better as that encourages higher temps and leads to quicker breakdown. Chuck in some soil or used compost to introduce bacteria and worms...
                My big bins (oo-eer) didn't work for me - not quite sure what I got wrong but as Mrs Balders would say I "clearly got something wrong" - so I went back to daleks last year and managed to produce compost that was good enough for potting - I was and am quite chuffed about that
                sigpic
                1574 gin and tonics please Monica, large ones.

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                • #9
                  Hiya MyWifesBrassicas - I'm not sure where I went wrong with the big bins - perhaps not enough water and maybe despite the air pipe it needed more turning. I am absent from my plot every other week so I can't give everything the attention it needs ( just ask Mrs B.)
                  Quite why the daleks are proving to be better I'm not sure... to be honest this year my plot has had a bit more physical attention, I've just sowed less... which probably isn't a brilliant technique either
                  sigpic
                  1574 gin and tonics please Monica, large ones.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Baldy View Post
                    Hiya MyWifesBrassicas - I'm not sure where I went wrong with the big bins - perhaps not enough water and maybe despite the air pipe it needed more turning. I am absent from my plot every other week so I can't give everything the attention it needs ( just ask Mrs B.)
                    Quite why the daleks are proving to be better I'm not sure... to be honest this year my plot has had a bit more physical attention, I've just sowed less... which probably isn't a brilliant technique either
                    Hi Mr Baldy, thanks for replying.
                    I used to have loads of dalek style composters and they did work well, then i tried pallet composting and it worked so much better, heated up for longer resulting in a quicker compost.
                    I turn the compost every month or so with both systems to "aerate" and turn the outside components in, however I'm thinking turning the stuff is a little backbreaking.
                    I've decided to build huge compost piles of approx 5 tonne and as you can imagine, I don't really want to turn that. So I was thinking of incorporating perforated drainage pipes throughout the pile, thus self aerating, then i read your post and wondered why it hadn't worked.
                    I'm thinking the increased aeration might dry out the compost faster than I'd initially anticipated, thus needing much more watering or they were inefficient at aerating and it became anaerobic
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      I take a small green kitchen waste type compost bin to work on Monday, it gets filled with many tea bags and banana skins etc from everyone at the office all week and I take it home on Friday.

                      Kind Regards.............Rob
                      Last edited by Dynamite; 16-05-2019, 09:28 PM. Reason: Spelling correction

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                      • #12
                        I try to ensure
                        1. there is at least 40% brown material - usually cardboard or fine sawdust.
                        2 the heap is big enough to get 60C plus temperature in the middle
                        3 turn the heap after 2-3 months. I use a fork to really mix it up.
                        4. leave for another 8 months or so.
                        5. I bung everything into it except cooked food and citrus fruit with thick skins.

                        I've built myself a better housing system for this recently, so fingers crossed it works OK - but I'm fairly confident it will. I might build a third bay next year after I move some gooseberry bushes in the winter.

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                        • #13
                          1) doing it is better than not doing it - even if you just pile up your prunings and clippings in a corner you will get something sooner or later
                          2) the bigger the heap the better - I asked my neighbours on each side and take their green bins to my heap - that adds about 1 wheelie bin full (mainly grass clippings) every week in spring/summer, and coffee grounds from my local café every so often (they drop them round every so often)
                          It will never be as pretty or uniform as bought stuff (unless you sieve it etc), but it will work.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bacchus View Post
                            I try to ensure
                            1. there is at least 40% brown material - usually cardboard or fine sawdust.
                            2 the heap is big enough to get 60C plus temperature in the middle
                            3 turn the heap after 2-3 months. I use a fork to really mix it up.
                            4. leave for another 8 months or so.
                            5. I bung everything into it except cooked food and citrus fruit with thick skins.

                            I've built myself a better housing system for this recently, so fingers crossed it works OK - but I'm fairly confident it will. I might build a third bay next year after I move some gooseberry bushes in the winter.
                            Hi Bacchus,

                            What design of housing system have you chosen?
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bikermike View Post
                              1) doing it is better than not doing it - even if you just pile up your prunings and clippings in a corner you will get something sooner or later
                              2) the bigger the heap the better - I asked my neighbours on each side and take their green bins to my heap - that adds about 1 wheelie bin full (mainly grass clippings) every week in spring/summer, and coffee grounds from my local café every so often (they drop them round every so often)
                              It will never be as pretty or uniform as bought stuff (unless you sieve it etc), but it will work.
                              Hi BM,

                              That kind of volume will soon mount up to a very substantial compost heap, I might take that idea
                              sigpic

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