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I expect some of you know that I trained to become a Compost Master last year. Garden Organic, the charity, have said in their newsletter that there are vacancies for people to train (it's a two day course) in ;








In return for the training we are expected to do about 30 hours of voluntary work in the community teaching people about composting. We do not sell anything, just give advice.

It is great fun, I ended up doing 75 hours last year and loved every minute


Not near me Artjak. Hope someone benefits from your post.


What a shame KEF, it is so useful and they help you with the volunteer work by lending out a gazebo, wormery, leaflets, quizzes for the children etc.

Orchid Lady

Sadly not near me, I could do with some training 


the contacts not working for me ,but have got the info local council and when we can Katenme r going to do it nice one Artjack,



They only have one training weekend per year in each area, so if you are interested, book it now; I had to wait 18 months for my training! Also the funding for these courses won't be there for ever.

Orchid Lady

Well I haven't been able to do anything with my stodgy compost but just been out to try and 'fix' it and am very pleased to report that actually at the bottom I had quite a bit of useable compost and lots of red worms that I never even knew were there!!!

It had gone down quite a bit, as a the bin was almost full, so has obviously composted quite a bit more over the last few weeks.  Just come in to get some shredded paper to add to it.

Thanks everyone for your tips and seems I'm not actually as rubbish as I first thought!! 

The only problem now is, the dogs are on the border going through the compost, just in case there is any food left!!!!!!

Orchid Lady

Apologies, I've just realised that in my excitement I've posted the above on the wrong thread, so will copy and paste onto my compost thread if anyone wants to reply - apologies Artjak. 


Tracey, it's always good to hear about people making their own compost So glad it's starting to work.

Orchid Lady

Thanks artjak, I've put shredded paper, brown paper and coffee grinds on today, will put some kitchen waste on tomorrow.......excited now because I actually think I can do it LOL!!!


artjak, we never get anything like that up here in Scotland. I would love that course. I'm a compost nut. I love collecting for it, adding to it, playing with it, digging it over, you name it!

My freinds all think I'm nuts. If I see any veg peelings, or anything at all that I can use, I pinch it.We've just been given re-cycling bins for food waste. So now my neighbours hand over the contents to me. They give me all the veggie peelings etc, in the wee compostible bags.

When I hear anyone's lawnmower going, I drop them a ton bag over the fence, and they drop it back after. Then I raid the blue bins for the newspapers, and layer it. The best compost ever was last yrs. My friend breeds rats and hamsters, (and I have 3 rats too) and they are bedded on a shredded hemp bedding. So that was added in layers, and I got hotter, quicker heaps this year, with a much finer crumb. And don't worry, they are vegetarian rats, with a home-mixed diet!) Our bin men have little to do in our street, as I am even collecting the 2l plastic bottles this yr for a gh for the school, and a coldframe for me!

Our standing joke is that my partner buys me all the little sundries I need for my garden and can't afford, but he has yet to get me a ton of manure! No red roses for me on Valentine, Where's MY SHIT?!

I was really excited in Autumn, when the school caretaker dropped me off 5 bags full of leaves for my leafmould bin!

The trouble is, when I get a really good batch, I can never decide where best to use it! The perennials don't mind it a bit lumpy, but I've never been brave enough to use the good stuff for potting.

I have found that small amounts of dog hair will compost, but too much makes a thick layer that remains. (I'm a dog groomer) However, it occurs to me that it could make a great mulch. going to try it this yr.And I put the soft fluffy hair in the hedges for the nesting birds, they love it! (I even grade the bloody dog hair, only after bath, fluffy undercoat is good enough for the birds!)

Oh, and, The rat muck from the litter trays, the really smelly stuff, seems to keep the mice from my peas and sweet peas if I scatter it around.

Tracey, where is that other thread you mentioned? Love to read about composting.


Sorry to butt in...

Regarding hair (not specifically dog) I have heard that it can be used to deter slugs but have not tried it.


Have heard that myself, will be watching closely when I try it for mulch. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tracey-Newbie wrote (see)

"very pleased to report that actually at the bottom I had quite a bit of useable compost and lots of red worms that I never even knew were there!!!"

Were they the red and white striped worms. Like this (sure you have seen before)  "Eisenia fetida" or red wigglers


 "Just come in to get some shredded paper to add to it." 

That will sort it out. About 50/50  paper and kitchen scraps.


Not sure i should be telling you this but i use the green recycling bins (from the council. I find them discarded all over.) and drill holes in the sides and bottom and then fill them with the 50/50 mix as above,  then let it age for 2-3 weeks then introduce the red worms you found in your compost, add about 200 of them and watch how fast they reduce the waste and leave you with the best possible compost, you could ever believe.The worms eat off the top so while they are reducing the first box, i set up another green tub and when ready just place the tub on top of the other one. Like a stack of boxes. They will always congregate in the top box where the food is. 

They do not actually eat the food scraps (food) and cardboard/paper (bedding) you put in. They eat the bacteria and mycelium that grows on it. No matter what, it is not the feed quality of the compost but the good bacteria that is produced in the worm waste that is key to good plant propagation and health. Why spend £££££ on chemicals when mother nature can do it for you. No matter how you use the casts, you will see a big difference. 

Vermicomposting is a huge topic so if you want to know more just let me know and i will be very happy to answer your questions.

PS. I have worms! Millions upon millions of them.

If you are short of them and not to far away then i can send you some through the post (1lbs) . I have never done this but i do know how to do it. The daft part is you already have them. 




oooh, Edd, can I have some please? If I have my own, where do I find them? are they in my compost heap? I had thought you needed 'tiger worms'. Are they the same? And do they need protecting in really cold weather, as I seem to remember reading somewhere? Can we have a whole vermiculture thread please? Puhleeeese?

Oh, and sorry, Igrow, I somehow missed the link at the top of your last post, Thank You, and you're not butting in, that's what a forum is for, I believe?

But therein lies my complaint!  'A complaint?', you all scream.  'YES', I reply. 'TMI'.

I don't have the space in my brain to store it all, or the room in my garden to use it all, or the hours in a day to read it all! The more I read, or ask, the more I learn and want to learn. And it's all here at the click of a button (or two)!



Hi gardenjeannie.

Yes  'tiger worms' are the same thing. They have many common names like brandlings an the one i use red wigglers. You should be able to find them just below the surface of your compost bin if it is situated in the garden.

I obtained mine from the big piles of horse manure that farmers leave in the fields. But i have also noticed that they appear in vast numbers in piles of grass cuttings left in the garden and the same with piles of leaves that have been left. I have moved several times and have always found them. One of the more unusual places is under pots and planters that have been stood out side and have a little bit of soil underneath that has been washed out, stuck to the bottom (especially after rain) 

I have outside bins as well as inside ones in my garage and a smaller one in the house. I have turned the outside one in the middle of winter and found it to have big clumps of frozen compost with worms in it and it did no harm to them what-so-ever.

I can't recommend this type of composting enough.

I will start a new thread for you and we will see how many people i can convert.

Kind regards



gardenjeannie, pleases get in touch with garden organic the charity that organises all this compost training; they may be able to persuade your local council to help fund the training, especially as you are SAVING THE COUNCIL MONEY, by re-cycling soooo much stuff Go for it girl


Thanks for reminding me about this.


I did not leave a comment on the other thread, because we all seemed to have the same problem (not in the area), unfortunately. I love the idea and i am sure many others would like to spread the word. Its just the fact it is not universal (if that means Britain) 

It is one hell of a good idea and i would like to thank you for bringing it up.

Kind Regards.



Artjak, I will do so, thank you. I'm a bit compost mad. Never ever got enough though, or enough room to make all I want!

Edd, I am waiting with bated breath for that new thread. Can you start it for raw beginners, please? I will be searching my bins now.


Yes i can.

But do i not need to do one about hot composting??? The basic principle of, this is, put the weeds in with a layer, on top Then add another of Brown card or news print and do the same over and over.and then just give it oxygen. Turn it 4 times a year. and it might be usable.

Hate to brag but. Worms eat 1/3 to 50/50 of their body weight a day!!! In scraps. and 100% if the temp is right, they also aerate the compost so no need to turn.  so no need for turning.

Keep up with, the compost worm and mealworm. Please.

I will catch up. Promise