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Top tips to maximise your compost making

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default Top tips to maximise your compost making

Post by Compostwoman on 11th November 2010, 12:16 pm

Ok, here is a thread to put top tips in.

Please could we keep this to tips only, and have any discussion in new threads. Thank you.


Last edited by Compostwoman on 12th November 2010, 3:15 pm; edited 2 times in total

Compostwoman

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default Basic recipe for compost making

Post by Compostwoman on 11th November 2010, 12:21 pm

Basic recipe for compost

To get the ideal compost mix you will roughly need a 50:50 mix
of both "green" and "brown" material in your bin.
By composting everything and anything available it is possible to dramatically increase the amount of compost you produce.

‘GREENS’
● Fruit scraps (including citrus peel)
● Vegetable peelings
● Tea bags
● Old flowers
● Spent bedding plants
● Rhubarb leaves
● Comfrey leaves
● Nettles
● Young annual weeds (e.g. chickweed and speedwell)
● Pond algae and seaweed (in moderation)
● Coffee grounds and filter paper
● Grass cuttings
● Manure (horse, cow, pig, sheep, goat, chicken, rabbit – not too much as could become too wet)

Human urine is a very good activator!

‘BROWNS’
● Tissues, paper towels and napkins (unless they have been in contact with
meat or disease)
● Tumble dryer lint (from natural fibre clothes)
● Old natural fibre clothes (e.g. woolly jumpers or cotton t-shirts
– make sure you cut them into small pieces)
● Vacuum bag contents(as long as you have natural fibre carpets)
● Garden prunings
● Toilet and kitchen roll tubes,
● Woody clippings
● Dry leaves, twigs and hedge clippings
● Human and pet hair (slow to break down)
● Cotton threads/String(made from natural fibres)
● Feathers
● Wool
● Newspaper(scrunched up)
● Shredded confidential documents
● Straw and hay
● Vegetarian pet bedding
● Ashes from wood,paper, or lumpwood charcoal
● Sawdust and wood chippings
● Corn cobs and stalks
● Cereal boxes
● Corrugated cardboard packaging (scrunched up in small amounts)
● Pine needles and cones (although slow to compost don’t put too much in)
● Egg shells (but crush them first to speed up composting)
● Egg boxes (good as they trap air)

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default Re: Top tips to maximise your compost making

Post by Compostwoman on 11th November 2010, 12:26 pm

  • I keep a few "browns" bins in the house which I use for all the little bitty bits of card, paper, tissue etc which is too scrappy to recycle, as well as a caddy for peelings, tea bags, coffee filters etc ec in the kitchen.





  • I am always on the lookout for cardboard sheets, from shops or from Freecycle.


  • I stockpile various weeds and prunings and grass cuttings from the lawns, until I have a good quantity of raw materials to fill up the compost bins.


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default Re: Top tips to maximise your compost making

Post by John Cossham on 28th May 2011, 12:25 am

I maximise my composting ops by collecting biodegradable materials from other places.

The law at the moment is that 'waste' generated from shops has to be carried by a registered waste carrier and the shop has a duty of care about how it's waste is dealt with. Most commercial premises don't have recycling collections so it all gets landfilled.

So I get around this stupid situation by buying the unsold fruit and veg at a penny (or any other nominal price) per sack. This means I am the rightful and lawful owner of sacks and boxes of 'resources', such as mouldy oranges, cauliflower leaves, bunches of grapes with a few duff ones in, slightly soft carrots and all sorts of other goodies. I encourage the shop owner NOT to refer to the material as waste or rubbish.

If you want to maximise your compost output, you have to put more in, and as long as you have enough of the brown/woody/carbon rich/structural stuff to balance the wet, sappy nitrogen rich putrescibles, then I suggest asking your greengrocer or independent supermarket to separate out the compostable stuff and let you have it.

They get lighter dryer, less aromatic bins, which cost less to empty, and a good feeling about the recycling. You get free soil improver a year or two after collecting the stuff!

Do collect regularly though, make it as 'professional' as possible, just like a normal delivery or pick up, 3x a week.

I'd love to know if anyone else uses my model.
John
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default Re: Top tips to maximise your compost making

Post by Compostwoman on 28th May 2011, 12:37 am

I like your style, John. Laughing

I get a bit of stuff from similar sources, but if I could get as much as you, I would be keeping pigs and turning it into meat I reared. I know you wouldn't do that, but that is what I would do with it. And then use the pig muck to enrich my soil, later after composting.

Which is what I do with the chicken output at the moment.... Laughing

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default Re: Top tips to maximise your compost making

Post by Dandelion on 28th May 2011, 10:52 pm

I have an old plastic rubbish bin in the garden which I fill with all the perennial weeds I don't want to have surviving in the compost then reappearing in the garden! I fill it with water to cover the weeds, cover it all up from the light, and when it's turned to revolting mush I dry it out and put in the compost container.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: Top tips to maximise your compost making

Post by Compostwoman on 28th May 2011, 11:30 pm

Dandelion wrote:I have an old plastic rubbish bin in the garden which I fill with all the perennial weeds I don't want to have surviving in the compost then reappearing in the garden! I fill it with water to cover the weeds, cover it all up from the light, and when it's turned to revolting mush I dry it out and put in the compost container.

great

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default Re: Top tips to maximise your compost making

Post by Chilli-head on 29th May 2011, 9:20 pm

If you have weeds you don't want to survive the composting process, you can also spread them out on a dry path to desiccate. I find that horsetails are dry past the point of no return really quite quickly - just a few days of sun - and once they crumble between your fingers they won't grow anymore ! (Alternatively, if you know someone into biodynamics dried horsetails fetch 3.60 for 25g Surprised - I could be rich !)
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default Re: Top tips to maximise your compost making

Post by Sparhawk on 14th February 2013, 8:33 pm

Rat proof the bottom of the bin...

After an hour & a bit today of furtling I now have a pvc cladding base, made from left over cladding from next doors building works a couple of years ago, & a double layer of chicken mesh, given to me for when we set up for chickens.

Hopefully the rats will go hungry & I will have compost left in the bin... Rolling Eyes

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                "Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica,
    leads a ragtag, fugitive fleet, on a lonely quest—for a shining planet known as Earth."
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