We have a compost bin in the old house and we use it make fabulous, organic compost to put on the garden. They add vital nutrients to the soil to enable optimum growing conditions.
What benefits does compost have to my garden?
Your own compost will feed and condition your garden soil and can also be used for your pots or in growing your own vegetables. It also is a great way to recycle kitchen waste so leaving less to go in your rubbish bags.
What can I compost?
- Vegetables and fruit peelings/cores/skins. Banana skins are ideal for the compost.
- Grass cuttings. Try to mix this with “dry” bits so that the compost doesn’t get too slimy. I put leaves on another pile to make leaf mulch.
- Dry bits like paper, newspaper and cardboard such as cereal boxes, loo rolls and packaging. I strip mine up so that they can compost quicker.
- Tea bags and coffee grounds (also good for dealing with slugs see my post
- Animal bedding such as straw and sawdust from a rabbit hutch. This does take longer to compost though.
- Egg shells. We eat a lot of eggs in the old house so I also crush these up to discourage those pesky slugs and snails!
- Lint from the dryer or washing machine. Animal hair or hair from hair brushes.
- Ash from my fire. Some don’t add this but we don’t have too much so it can go in!
- Old cut flowers. I chop these up into smaller pieces.
- I also add Epsom salts to my compost as we are low in Magnesium here in Wiltshire.
What do I not compost?
- Any meat or fish. This can attract rats.
- Animal faeces. Ugh!
- Weeds. I don’t add these because I don’t want to add their seeds to my compost.
- Cat litter.
- Old dog or cat food.
How do I compost?
You can buy some great compost bins from most garden centres or DIY shops. They are often large, black bin looking things with a removable front panel. Put this is a place in your garden that is out the way. It won’t smell but they are not great to look at! Make sure they are placed ON THE OPEN GROUND. This is vital. The bottom of the bin must be placed onto the soil so that worms can get in. The worms are what are going to be doing all the work for you as decomposers! Put in your waste as and when you have it. I mix my bin contents every now and again to get the air into the compost and to allow the wet and dry pieces to mix. You can make your own compost area too like we have in the old house garden.
In about 6-8 weeks you will have lovely, crumbly compost that you can out into your garden! Simple! You can even compost in a small garden.
Have a go! You plants will thank you (and so will the bin man and the planet!)
OH THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE OLD HOUSE IN THE SHIRES.
A blog about my life in The Old House, a mum to teenagers, a primary school teacher and my passion for gardening.