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Composting waste


by Jane Moore

I'm considering collecting all my tea bags and potato peelings at home to put on the heap - I could easily add a fetching little compost crock to my Christmas list!


Compost makingMaking good compost has become something of an obsession for me lately. At idle moments, I've found myself contemplating the two heaps on my allotment. Affectionately called 'hedge heap' and 'new heap', I've been considering what else I could add to them to improve the compost.

I'm considering collecting all my tea bags and vegetable peelings at home to put on the heap - I could easily add a fetching little compost crock to my Christmas list! And what about all the neighbours' compostable waste -should I collect that too?

Paul wasn't so keen on the idea, despite its green credentials. "You'll never remember to take it up to the allotment", he claimed. "it'll start getting slimy and stinky and then you won't want to take it up there!"

He has a point - I am getting a little absent minded, due to my hectic schedule, and I'm prone to forgetting things. Last week I left a cabbage in my car all weekend (and that did get a bit smelly!).

So I'll forget the kitchen waste until I have a plot closer to home. But I can still take all the lovely garden rubbish up to the allotment. All the blackened dahlia stems, fallen leaves, old bedding plants and herbaceous stems will rot down beautifully over the winter.



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Gardeners' World Web User 23/11/2008 at 08:32

Excellent idea, but i was composting this year, adding all and sundry. The problem i then had was RATS. I now only compost my garden waste. Does anyone know how to compost without our little ratty being involved?

Gardeners' World Web User 23/11/2008 at 08:49

If you are adding meat fish dairy products to your heap that is probably the problem for what you can add visit http://www.recyclenow.com/home_composting/making_compost/index.html But fruit and vegetable waste should be fine. Try putting a lid if you have not already. Also try to use your heap regularly because according to recycle now rats are shy and don't like disturbance

Gardeners' World Web User 23/11/2008 at 09:23

Sit your compost bin, round or square on a sheet of chicken wire and wrap it rounnd the bottom of the bin, that should stop ratty moving in. Mind you, I had a rat in my plastic bin all last winter who obligingly turned my compost every day and once she had moved out in the spring I had the best crumbly compost ever!

Gardeners' World Web User 23/11/2008 at 14:14

If you have a problem with rats it could be that you are adding meat bones or dairy. This will attract rats so only add fruit or vegetable waste. Tea bags are also ok. You should not have any problem with rats if you place that in. Also try putting a lid on your heap or putting chicken wire under the base.

Gardeners' World Web User 23/11/2008 at 16:16

Try composting using Bokashi which is essentially "good bacteria" or EM`s. You can safely treat all kitchen and food scraps then add it to a traditional compost heap or dig it in. It dramatically improves productivity and soil health. Some councils are subsidising bins and EM`s to encourage use. I have drastically cut the amount in my dustbin each week.

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