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hi, i am about to start my first compost heap and any advice would be very much appreciated even if it seems obvious, there is so much information out there I would rather go from hands on experience..


Hi liseals. Best thing you can do for your garden 

Learn your greens and browns. Lots of info online about which is which. Basically green living, brown dead. Don't get too hung up on it but try and add more browns than greens. This will keep your heap sweet.

Don't add meat or carbs or cooked unless you want vermin

Get a cover of some sort to put over when heap full to speed up rotting.

Thats about it really  


If you know anyone who keeps chicken, guinea pigs or rabbits, get some of their manure for your heap - beats any other type of 'compost activator' - really gets it going.


Compost is great for the garden. All I add to my compost heap is lawn cuttings, any green vegetable waste, such as cauliflower/cabbage leaves, used teabags, washed/ crushed egg shells, any weeds or plant waste from the garden. I have learn't not to add any potato peeling, as they will start to shoot, any citrus peel or twigs as these take longer to break down. If you turn the compost over with a fork daily it will break down quicker. Hope this helps.

Thanks guys, 3 really useful responses, i havent read anything about greens or browns so will look into that and why do i have to wash my egg shells, is it the same as putting in cooked food?



Wash them first, then crush them up. I've always done this so it doesnt encourage vermin.

thanks paula, i wouldve just put them put them out as they were..and i dont want any vermin 


We buy fruit and veg from a farm shop and it comes in brown paper bags - they go on the compost heap and are brilliant as one of the  'browns'.

i read online somewhere that newspaper was good, would you agree?


If you've not got enough browns you can use some newspaper - if you put it through the shredder first it works well. 

Gawd there is so much to this gardening lark maybe that's why I love it

The more frequent you are able to turn your compost heap during the summer months, the better.  It should feel a bit like a wrung out sponge as it begins to develop, just nicely damp but not saturated.  It might sometimes be necessary to wet it as you turn it, just sprinkle the hose on it.


Keeps us out of mischief liseals - well, it does most of the time 

Also, keep a bin especially for the composting scraps in the kitchen.  To this you may add any cardboard which is tearable ie. loo rolls, cereal boxes, envelopes.  These are what are called 'brown', they help to absorb all the liquid that comes off the lawn mowings.  We soon end up with large amounts.  We do keep a couple of ponies and add their muck to the mix.  My husband turns the heaps with a digger!


I have this in the kitchen for scraps.


 Has a charcoal thingy in the lid so no nasty niffs 



I add shredded newspaper to mine and if I have some finer branches or twigs when pruning I chop them into bits with secateurs first. Anything heavier would need chipping as it won't break down as quickly as the rest so I don't use those. I do leaves in a separate wire bin or black bags in Autumn for the same reason- they take longer, although you can chop them with the lawnmower first to get them going. 

Thanks all, loved reading all your tips.i was gonna to make my heap out of some old pallets as I have seen a few online and was wondering what your thoughts were about them? Also if im using tea bags should I rinse them first to get rid of any teaces of milk in them? 

*traces not teaces

Being a typical bloke - and having just joined the site - I had started a new thread before seeing this one.(sorry)

My question is, Can I use stale beer as an accelerant in my 3 composting tubs?


Liseals no don't bother 

Artful yes. Will only attract slugs nothing else and they are good in compost heap 

With compost heaps the list of no's is far smaller than the list of yesses. If it will rot fairly quickly, has no horrid chemicals in it, won't attract vermin and is not a perennial weed root chuck it in!!!!

I know someone is going to think of something I've not covered and come back at me lol!