As the weather starts warming up, now is the perfect time to make your own compost. Your compost pile needs warmth in order to ‘cook’, reducing the time it takes to turn into 'nutritious gold' for your garden.
Start by collecting food scraps in a kitchen caddy. You can get a small, brown food recycling bin from your local council, or simply use your own. Good foods to collect for composting include:
- Fruit peels and scraps (not too much citrus though – the acidity is bad for earthworms, without which your compost success will be scuppered)
- Vegetable waste (but avoid onions and garlic; some believe they repel earthworms)
- Used coffee grounds
- Tea bags (if made with natural fibres)
- Kitchen roll, tissues and newspaper (but avoid shiny magazine paper)
- Cotton and natural fibres
What not to compost:
- Meat, fish and bones (the smell with attract pests)
- Fats and oils
- Synthetic fibres
- Woody vegetables (such as stalks on brussel sprouts)
- Coal ash (too acidic)
- Treated wood or sawdust
Get ready to make your own compost
The next step to make your own compost is to install an outdoor compost bin. Somerlap have two, sturdy timber compost bins in their gardening range. As standard, you can choose between a single or double unit, but because they're made to order, you can even choose your own bespoke size.
Put a layer of hay or straw in the bottom for drainage, then pile on the food waste (ideally you're aiming to make a 6 inch layer). Add water if if the waste is a little dry, but be careful not to drown the micro-organisms: these helpful little friends are going to help break down your waste efficiently.
Now add a layer of soil or manure (this will help introduce the heat that is needed to speed up the process), before covering your waste pile with tarpaulin or plastic sheet.
After 3 months, uncover and mix up the compost with a garden fork. This will introduce oxygen and speed up the process. Ideally this should be done every week, but can be left for longer without harm.
Following another 3 months, your compost should be a deep brown, fine, crumbly, sweet-smelling mound. You are now ready to feed your garden with your homemade, nutrient rich, wonder-stuff.
Somerlap – local expertise, quality products
Somerlap have been manufacturing premium, timber products for over 35 years and we strive to produce high quality goods at competitive prices. Why not visit the Somerlap site in Somerset and find out how we can help you make the most of your garden.