The Rocket Guide to Composting… Part Two.

In part one of our series on composting we looked at where to put your compost and what to put it in. In part two, we’re taking a look at what to add to your compost and how to get the best results. It’s not rocket science, but there are a few basic pointers that will make your compost bin work harder for you.

Things to include:

  • Nettles
  • Comfrey
  • Weeds (not their seeds!)
  • Tea bags
  • Grass cuttings
  • Veg scraps – peelings etc (must be raw)
  • Manure from: poultry, horses, cows
  • Coffee grounds
  • Leaves and soft stems from other plants
  • Cardboard
  • Straw
  • Woody stems and twigs
  • Old newspapers

Definitely don’t include:

  • Meat and fish
  • Cooked food
  • Egg shells
    (all the above attract rats – not good!)

A few top tips:

  • Turn your compost regularly and you’ll get a faster breakdown.
  • Try and get an even mix of things that break down quickly (i.e., wetter things like tea bags, coffee, nettles, comfrey, veg scraps, manure) and things that break down slowly (drier things like cardboard, straw, twigs)
  • Chop cardboard, twigs and sticks down before adding them and they’ll decompose faster and generate more heat (which will help everything else decompose faster)
  • Nettles and comfrey are brilliant activators in the compost heap – add them every 4 weeks if you can and they’ll keep the whole process going for you.

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