Register with us or sign in
in Problem solving
im making the most of a limited garden and of being 3 months pregnant and therefore quite tired, not able to do as much as last year etc. i started a compost bin late last year and it was made of an old lidded black bin which my mum sawed a big hole out of in the bottom. it put some twigs on the bottom which i read were good for aeration then put all kitchen waste fruit and veg in it. i also put in 'compost maker' which i bought on ebay with each fresh layer, and some shredded paper
i have NO garden waste, becuase the garden is mostly paved and the borders are mostly uncultivated and if anything is growing there it is weeds. therefore i have little natural 'brown' waste. so i was planning on adding shredded paper regularly to make up for this.
i got a little clump of compost forming in the early days, but now its just full of flies and rotten fruit and veg! is it because of what i'm putting in?
basically the only things i have to add to the bin are kitchen fruit and veg waste and shredded paper. is that going to work or shall i just give up? if it will work what can i do to sort out the current (lack of) compost?
many thanks for your help!
could you ask a neighbour for there garden waste grass cuttings etc and mix in
If you have no real garden waste, I would go to Edds vermicomposting for beginners thread and go with that. Have you got any worms in it at all? If not, do you know anyone with a good compost heap that can let you have a bag of brandlings to get started with.
One thing to try would be turning it, fluffing it up a bit. Try digging up a few spade fills of ssoil from the borders and adding. You might get a few worms that way and tiny organisms as it sounds as if it has not really started. Compost is like yoghurt. Try to keep going as it would be worth it
Any chance of getting a small bag of aged, well rotted horse manure to mix in? It will add worms
The first thing GardeningMamaAndBoo. You have done nothing wrong. You only need to add oxygen to the bin by drilling lots of holes in the side of the bin (and i mean lots). There is no need for expensive 'compost maker' but as you have it use it. All you need is a hand full of garden soil now and again to allow the good microbes to do their job.
There is no problem with the mix of kitchen fruit and veg waste and shredded paper. Although i prefer shredded brown cardboard and my personal preference is egg boxes.
There is no need for a lid unless it is too wet inside. This will help to keep the fruit flies and gnats down. Please do add manure worms (red wigglers) if you can get them as they will speed up the whole composting process. Normal garden worms will not work.
I suggest you empty the bin out and add 50% more cardboard if it is wet and slimey Then drill lots of holes in the side of the bin and re fill it. You might find that you have some of the correct worms already in the bin when you empty it.
It sounds like you're mixture is too wet. To sort it out you might empty its contents onto a tarpaulin then its 4" Brown (Newspaper, shredded paper or straw from your rabbit is good I get mine from #ilovefreegle.org a free recycling/reuse website) Then 4" Green kitchen, teabags and garden waste. Every now and again try and have a dig around to move the contents apparently mens wee is a brilliant activator something to do with hormones but will help you producing useable soil a lot sooner. Treat grass as green but use less water - I occasionally water my compost heap to discourage rats and mice etc. they love the shredded paper parts great for nesting warm and cozy.