Between now and late November is a great time to build your own compost heap, piling it high with clippings, cuttings, prunings and even bits of shredded cardboard. Get a good mix of these, and next year you will be rewarded with bags of rich, dark, crumbly goodness that you can use as a soil enhancer, mulch or potting agent.
Though it is a great way to make use of food waste, there is more to making excellent compost than throwing your peelings on it and letting them rot. If too much of one ingredient goes on at the same time, the mix will be uneven and decomposition may even grind to a halt. Too many grass cuttings, for example, will dissolve into a smelly mess.
The best way to create compost is to layer your additions, mixing green material (grass, deadheads, kitchen peelings, soft prunings) with brown waste, such as shredded cardboard and paper and woody prunings, that should be cut as small as possible. Ash is a good source of potassium, but it should be cold and not contain food scraps.
DO Site the bin away from the house, but where it’s still easy to access.
DO Stand the bin on soil so liquid from decomposing waste can drain away.
DO Add a wide range of woody and green waste materials to it.
DO Aerate contents by tipping it out,
mixing and then returning to the heap.
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