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I would like to start a compost heap do any of you know what kind is best i have tried to make one ( it looks like a chicken coop). also I don't know how to get started and or have i made the right bin to put it in can any one help
Delighted to hear so many people are taking up composting. Jane, have you got space for a compost bin? Alternatively a proper worm bin is ideal for composting kitchen waste. I've been using a Can 'O Worms bin continually for about 12 years now (I think I was one of the first in the country to have one). Into it goes all vegetable peelings, banana skins, crushed egg shells, etc, but NO cooked food, and NO citrus fruit (too acidic for the worms). Remember that a large proportion of this vegetable waste is water, so a liquid has to be drained from the base of the bin, which can be diluted as a liquid feed.

And Maddie, compost bins can be made easily from linking together four old wooden pallets to make sides. However, this could be too big for you. Could I recommend you (or your parents) phone the council and ask if they have free or discounted compost bins available. Some councils do give them free to their residents, while others sell them very cheap. It's worth asking!

Using washing up water to water the garden - I have been saving used water, but have not put it on the garden yet, as I am not sure if it will be O.K. I have run out of water from the butts in this hot weather. Also have just gone onto water metre. Can anyone please advise. Thanks
I'm vegetarian so I put all my food waste on the compost heap, with no problems. Even the odd bit of stale cheese or sour milk. Last summer, my loo was faulty for two days and (warning :the following is rather indelicate) it was easier to use a bucket. Trying to make the best of it, I set up an experiment in one of my plastic composters. I used a big bag of leaves meant for leaf mold but I didn't get around to it, grass cuttings and the contents of the bucket. Well, cows and horses are veggies and we use theirs, don't we? Last week I sieved a barrow load of the most beautiful leaf-moldy compost that my large collection of potted ferns will love.


I have numerous composters in my small garden, a greencone which takes all foods, even animal droppings and bones,a wormery, and 2 compost bins, and a metal cage type composter,which is now used for growing rhubarb with great success, I find if the compost is not breaking down well in a bin I put it into another bin and move the empty bin to another corner of the garden and start again. i have 4 cats and no rats at all. I found that laying large cardboard boxes on top of weeds for a few weeks clears the weeds, then i compost the cardboard. i have a small garden but lots of containers of flowers which grow very well using the compost.
Have been composting for a couple of years and thought it was only raw vegetables that could be composted. Heard last week that cooked vegetables could also be used - is this true?
Janis, I wouldn't personally put cooked vegetables onto my compost heap, and would stick to raw and uncooked material. There is a system of composting called Bokashi Composting that can 'digest' all cooked food, but I haven't evaluated it yet. Search for 'bokashi' on the web and you'll find plenty of information. You add EM bacteria (effective microbes in a bran material) to the food waste in a special bucket. I actually have a kit at home, so must give it a go and report back in a future blog.
I was wondering if I can put stale bread onto our compost heaps, can't find a yes or no anywhere that I have searched. Any ideas?
Hi there, Great site for info. I have a question, have seen a cat litter that states can be put into compost bin(believe it is wood pellets) but every where says not to, can understand the "smelly" not going in but what about "wet"? If anyone has any answers would be great to find out.
We are currently have a Rat problem in Tamworth of what can only be described as biblical proportions since the local council distributed free compost bins - it has been scientifically proven that banana skins attract swarms of frenzied rats which tunnel up under the compost bins -so be warned yes to green kitchen wastes - but beware the yellow peril.
I have also started composting nine months ago but the compost is still not ready to use. got a little at the bottom which i used in the garden. how often should i turn it over. should i leave the compost open or closed? there are a lot of flies in it though. is that normal?
We got another compost bin and we have filled it to the top with grass cuttings and cardboard food boxes ie: cereal packets, boxes fishfingers ect come in toilet and kitchen roll middles and any thing else we just rip them up and soak for a few days then tip into compost bin water and all. Turning the compost regular certainly speeds things up.So why don't the council take cardboard for composting instead of landfill?
My worry about composting cardboard such as cereal packets and printed paper is that the ink used on them may be toxic and the toxins go into the food chain. Can anyone reassure me about this, because there are no cardboard recycling facilities in our town and it would be so good to put cardboard or printed paper to good use as compost.
My Husband has just made me a bin from old wooden pallets, and its fantastic. He has put a hinged stable type door on so I can open one to put stuff in or open both to turn the compost when needed, it also has a hinged lid to keep out the wet, and all it cost was £15. It stands on our patio, we have put a layer of old compost and some loam mixed in so the worms can come up through the cracks between the patio slabs and help with the composting work. My husband and I have become hooked on finding stuff to compost.


I have 2 compost bins and have had some wonderful results over the years, however, the trees around the site have matured considerably. Consequently there is considerably less sun filtering through. The compost is riddled with slugs and wood lice. I think I should re-site the bins. In order for the neccessary sunshine the new site would be nearer the house and not far from where my young grand children play. I wondered if this would safe for them.
Jan, provided you're just composting kitchen veg/fruit waste and garden waste there should be no harm to you, children, pets or wildlife. Clearly bins are not designed to be played with, climbed on or into, so keep this in mind, and screen from the play area if necessary. Ponds and water features are a hazard that must always be considered. Personally I would not let young children play in a garden with water features.
Having moved late last year, I have just started my first effort at composting. However we have lots of conifers in our garden. Can I put cuttings from these confiders in the composter when we trim them? I know conifers don't really rot down, so any advice would be welcome.
Novice 49, I would NOT put conifer cuttings or shreddings on my compost heap. You could shred these and use as a mulch round trees and larger shrubs. If you have space, pack these shreddings into old compost bags along with a compost activator for a year to start the composting process, then use for mulching next year.
After hearing the news yesterday, about the dangers of recycled cardboard used for cereal packaging etc I am now concerned about using shredded newspaper in my compost heap. Apparently most recycled cardboard is made from old newspapers. The printing ink from these newspapers contains mineral oils which are harmful when ingested by humans. Surely if I put paper in my compost heap these harmful toxins will ultimately end up in the fruit and veg I grow?