How to make compost in your garden
It’s a Sunday afternoon and you’ve whipped up a roast dinner with all the trimmings. While a delicious way to round off the week, there is one drawback: there’s a lot of waste.
But you needn’t let your old potato peels, carrot tops and broccoli leaves fill your already piled-high bin. In fact, there’s a way to reuse household waste without much effort at all – and it’s called ‘composting’.
These eco-friendly piles break down organic matter naturally so that, after a few months, your old waste becomes a homemade natural fertiliser.
To get your compost just right, however, there are a few techniques you need to adopt. To see how to make compost at home, take a look at our top tips, below.
Firstly, buy a compost bin
While your food and garden waste will decompose all by itself, you can’t expect your finished product to appear overnight. In fact, full decomposition takes around three months. Place your waste in the wrong conditions, though, and it could take upwards of one year!
To make the process as pain-free as possible, you need a compost bin. These sealed containers help to speed up decomposition by providing a sheltered condition for your household waste. Your homemade fertiliser develops as the bin fills up – that’s all there is to it.
Generally, compost bins cost around £20 for a 200-litre bin, although prices go up for special ‘hot composting’ bins. Likewise, self-turning compost bins cost slightly more – but they are worth it (the most nutritionally-dense compost collects at the bottom of the heap, so you’ll want to circulate it).
TOP TIP: The best time to start making compost at home is between late summer and early winter. This is when conditions are warm, but not sweltering – the ideal environment for decomposition.
What to put in your compost bin
Compost heaps might look like rubbish piles, but you can’t throw any old waste in there.
Composting worms and harbouring microorganisms will reject anything which isn’t organic matter (i.e. matter which can’t biodegrade). This includes metals and plastics, and food which repels worms, like onions and garlic.
Good things to compost include fresh fruit, vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, finely shredded paper, dry leaves and grass. Just remember to keep the ratio 50:50 in terms of brown (twigs, branches, etc.) and green (leaves and foliage) components.
Small ‘ingredients’ also make the best mix, as they decompose faster. To chop up grass into tiny pieces, try a Gtech Cordless Lawnmower. This efficient mower automatically adjusts its speed, so you can cut through long, thick grass (leaving you with plenty to add to your compost heap when you’re finished).
TOP TIP: When your compost no longer gives off heat and looks dry and crumbly, it’s ready to be sprinkled on your garden.
To get started making fertiliser with your household waste, you need a powerful lawnmower. For some of the best cordless mowers online, view the Gtech cordless garden range today.