Thursday, 22 November 2012

Composting Starts At Home

St Ives Allotment - Compost Bins
Compost is one of the most important elements of any allotment or garden. Its obviously a good way of recycling waste - but also provides a fantastic resource.  Given a bit of time and care - free fertiliser and soil improver for the vegetable and fruit beds.

I'm planning a series of posts on the topic

I currently have two compost bins on the allotment - but I'm starting starting with Composting At Home - before I move onto what I do out on the plot ......

A couple of my fellow allotment holders bring their household composting waste out from home. I find it much easier to have a compost bin in the garden. I can then either use the finished compost there or bring it out if needed. Plus I don't have to lug loads of waste around.

Garden Compost Bin
All of us generate a fair amount of kitchen and garden waste. Much of this - but not all - can be recycled. A bit of care is needed. Most garden items can go in - the main exception is diseased / blighted plants.

Some kitchen items should not be put into the compost bin - as they may attract rats and other vermin - and also reduce the quality of the finished compost.

Items not to be composted include:
  • Cooked food - meat or vegetable.
  • Stale bread, cakes and biscuits.
  • Leftover pasta and rice.
  • Leftover breakfast cereals.
  • Cheese and other dairy items.
  • Tinned food leftovers.
Incidentally - if you want to recycle all food waste you can do so - provided that you use a Food Waste Digester - designed to be rat-proof. Something I'll return to in a future post.

Kitchen items that we do add to the compost bin include:
  • Vegetable peelings.
  • Vegetables and fruit that have gone off.
  • Banana and other fruit skins.
  • Eggshells.
  • Teabags.
  • Cardboard packaging.
  • Paper.
Garden items to be added only in small quantities - or composted separately include:
  • Grass cuttings.
  • Fallen leaves ( see my previous post on Leaf Mould ).
  • Woody cuttings larger than twigs.

To get started simply install a compost bin in a convenient corner of the garden - and chuck everything in.

There is more to do to - to ensure the best quality compost in the shortest time.

More about compost and composting:
Allotment Growing - Compost and Composting

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