What kind of compost bin?
Here is my wooden beehive shaped compost bin which is right near the pavement and intrigues passers by who wonder if there are bees in it. It’s not an unattractive thing to have in your garden.
And here is one without a lid which is tiers from pervious bins just piled up and up. It does such a good job that I can forgive its rather rustic appearance.
Because I want to make as much as compost as possible I’ve bought a container on Amazon, called a 799 litre Ciskotu Expandable Outdoor Composter. Here it is:
Admittedly it’s no garden ornament but it will do the job and not too obvious to passers by or from our front room. It sort of blends in and anyway, I love it. I’ve lined it with cardboard and bits of old carpet to keep it warm.
What makes a compost mixture?
- Soft green stuff, twiggy brown bits, anything that will break down.
- Grass clippings from a neighbour who has a lawn
- Uncooked kitchen waste but not bread
- All cardboard and brown paper
- Odds and ends – egg boxes, paper based packaging
- Twigs, dead cut flowers, some autumn leaves, unsoiled wood based cat litter, straw,
you get the picture.
What I do with the heap
Add different types of stuff in layers
A cardboard box here and a bucket of grass there. Nothing hangs around waiting to go in. That’s where having 3 bins work out so well.
I sweep up the loveliest leaves from trees in my road, especially these acer leaves that I wait for every autumn. They are beautiful to touch and to look at and I add them in big armfuls to my compost bins, again in layers, not all at once.
Then I do nothing but wait. I don’t mix it or turn it or disturb it in any way.
I just leave it. Because I don’t want it to get too dry, I lift the lid when it’s raining.
What I get out of it
I get this lovely dark brown crumbly stuff full of living organisms. A photo can’t really do it justice. It just looks like soil but it’s as crumbly as a bag of compost. It’s homemade, it’s free and it’s full of life.
From experience I now empty just once a year around now and chuck the compost that’s been made onto the borders.
In each bin the bottom half will be brown crumbly compost and the top half will not yet have decomposed so is put back in for next time.
I use it on the borders now because it’s the only this time of year that there’s enough bare soil showing. In Spring and summer every inch of soil will be covered in greenery.
I know we all get our thrills in different ways but honestly, there’s a lot of pleasure to be had chucking stuff in a bin and watching it turn into black gold.
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Still not too late to plant tulips by the way…….. I’ve written about that here
Best wishes to all, Julie
3 comments on "Making compost is so easy – give it a try"
I have a Spruce tree in my garden that drops many cones and needles. Should I add that to my compost? If so, is that considered green or brown? Thanks!
Hello Lisa, well I add lots of bits blown down from a huge fir tree and I think it’s fine to just add it to the general mix. I’d say it counts as green as it’s a plant. But it doesn’t matter really. I think that as long as there’s a mix over time, not huge lumps of just one thing, then nature does its work and mixes it all up for you. Thanks for asking, I’m not an expert but I have learned a lot from years of compost making. Best wishes.
Thank you, Julie. This helps – you may not be an expert, but you know a lot more than I do! But I love learning about this stuff.