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I have a small compost bin and produce more food and garden waste each year than I need for compost.
So, as I can afford to be fussy, what should I throw in and what can I put in the bins for the council to take away?
I have a steady stream of vegetable peelings, off-cuts and stale stuff, which I assume is very good for compost? But I also trim back some climbers on a fence and end up with a couple of wheelie bins worth every year. There are also dead shoots from perennial bulbs and seeds, dahlia bushes, rosemary cuttings, etc.
Should I leave the climbers out, in favour of the vegetables and bulb shoots, or is it all as good for the soil?
Also, are tree leaves good for compost? Is it worth gathering up fallen leaves in the autumn/winter to add to my compost bin, or is vegetable matter best?
You need some of all of it - the twiggy stuff from the climbers and shrubs is 'good brown' and the veg peelings etc is green and you need that too. I would get another compost bin - I only have a small garden but can never have too much compost - mulching, digging into veg patch, potting etc ..... like gold dust In fact if you have too much, how far away from us are you ....... can you deliver.?
We gather the tree leaves each year and store them in black bin bags with holes in and the leaves start to break down. Then in the summer when we're adding lots of 'green' to the compost bins in the form of lawn mowings, we layer it with a bag of partially rotted leaves which are 'good browns' and keep the proportions of the mixture right. Makes brilliant compost.
Dove, that is such a clever idea; partially made leaf mold with 'greens'. Perhaps I'll find space for a couple of bags of leaves next autumn.
Tomsk, remember; no meat, fish, dairy, but I do scrunch up eggshells; they don't decompose into compost but they do deter slugs and snails. I will also add leftover steamed veg, but not with a sauce or dressing on.
Artjak, I do it for two reasons - to balance out the greens in the summer, and also because there are no 'hidden corners' in our garden (until shrubs grow, and they've not all been planted yet) so in the summer when the garden is looking at its best it's a shame to have a stack of plastic bags in the corner.
Dove, same here, it is all rather visible; means I have to keep it tidy
Shredded newspaper/ordinary paper is fine. Just not glossy colour-printed paper.
Newspaper the dog has peed on will be fantastic
A tip for eggshells, Artjak is to save them up and then put them in the oven for 15-20 mins. I just pop them in after i have cooked a meal (using the leftover heat) This dries them out and makes them very brittle. Then blitz them up in a food mixer or coffee grinder and you will get a gritty powder to use.
Remember it contains calcium carbonate (95% approx) and calcium phosphate (5%) plus magnesium carbonate and both soluble and insoluble proteins. This will affect the HP of the soil in large amounts but is very useful stuff.
Edd, what a good idea...now where can I find a space to save eggshells?
Edd, I have been doing this for a couple month or so now after reading about saving them to put slugs off. But I've been told they don't actually work so I'm saving them instead for the calcium benefits and will blitz them in a blender when the time comes (they're currently just larger grit like pieces).
Artjak - I have a jar in the kitchen just for egg shells. It really doesn't take up much space especially as you crush or blitz the shells before putting them in it as they disappear into nothing! We eat eggs regularly and the jar isn't half full yet.
I have 4 bins on the go it is only just enough it grea stuf