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I have 8, 8ft by 4ft compost bins made out of odd pieces of wood. I have a garden shredder (one of the most useful items of machinery I have) and shred all my hedge and shrub cuttings whic are mixed in with grass, uncooked kitchin waste, shredded paper etc. I fill each one up alternatly so that I can turn each one into the next one. The turning of the compost although heavy is the most useful thing I can do and inproves my compost no end. in addition i have just obtained a cone into which I can put cooked food, fish and bones etc. The challenge is deciding where to put it because its base must be sunk into the ground for about 2ft so that vermin can't get to it
I have 3 compost bins-2 for garden and uncooked household waste-the other just for leaves.The first do really well and are always heaving with little worms. One has a base, the other I dug a small hole and lined it with chicken wire and a piece of old carpet-this seems to keep vermin out. The leaf bin however seems to be taking an awfully long time to break down-how can I speed it up and where best to use the leaf mould?
I find the leaves take ages too unles you can chop them up in a lawn-mower. In fact I have decided to add the leaves to the compost hep now, just not too many at a time. I store them in old compost bags while they wait to be added. My problem is that I cannot seem to turn around my compost fast enough. I bought an organic accelerator that was meant to do it all in 4-6 weeks no turning. I have two heaps full, but not ready for use, the third is holding manure that is not ready for use and I have nowhere to start a third heap. I do it by the book, but I must be going wrong somewhere.
Vicarage, I'm impressed by your compost efforts. Would love you to post a bit more about the cone for cooked waste. Bokashi boxes are also good, though you need a kitchen big enough to store the buckets in. Wendy, 3 heaps are best, but if you don't have space it will take a little more work. Try to place your pile in the sun rather than shade, make sure everything is finely chopped, don't be afraid to use a little wee. What you then need to do is, as Vicarage says, turn your pile. Turn it out of the box onto the ground next to it, then put it back in again. The act of mixing and exposing to oxygen will speed things up no end. Don't forget to cover your heap with old carpet - the warmer the quicker the decomposition. Compost does take longer to make in the winter for this reason.
I have 3 bins. One is a wire cage for leaf mould, which i empty at this time of year and then fill up again with newly collected leaves. All i do with this bin is stir it a couple of times a year. The other two are for kitchen/garden waste etc. I am not able to turn my heap and the compost spikes for stirring don't seem to work either so i just fill one bin, and while that is rotting down (for a year) fill the second bin and then swop back and let the 2nd bin rot down. It is not the quickest method but it works and takes all my waste.


Re: early morning urine, apparently some very chronic alcoholics urinate into a beer glass last thing at night, then in the morning drink the top inch, where the alcohol has distilled. Shows commitment, I suppose.
I am so annoyed at Gardeners World, I tried to register and sure enough they sent me a 'code' that they do not accept - which is 56f9d45a1. most frustrating----
I have recently moved to a flat and am having difficulty coming up with compost solutions for a living environment with no garden! We have a small yard (concreted over) and could situate a compost bin outside, but I am concerned that the compost will stain the concrete and we are in rented accommodation. Does anyone have any suggestions for what we could put underneath the bin to prevent this?
Reply to reillymarie: We're sorry to hear about the problems you've experienced registering with the site. Please contact us at, and we'll resolve the matter for you. Best regards, The Gardeners' World web team
My name is Paul Godfrey and I have been producing my own foods for many years now, I grow herbs and vegetables, keep poultry for eggs and for the table and keep sheep and pigs for all kinds of wonderful produce. I would like to share my adventures with others so have started a website.
my name is joey and i have 3 compost bins and one wooden one made of pallets i made two out of sand bags by taken the botom out of them and puting four post in each corner and then just fill them up and cover the top up they are allso good for leaf mold more the merryer joey
I have a black plastic compost bin that I purchased from the local council I find that the black bin allows the heat to penertrate and I add a square of carpet to the top under the lid, the woodlice do live in the heap but they are helping it to break down along with the worms, when their work is done they seem to leave, and I have a lovely pile of compost.
when I plant any bulbs I always mark the area with any shredded pruneing waste it allows me to see where I have been and helps to feeed the soil


Reading all the comments today makes me realise that gardeners are the nicest people on the planet, no silly remarks about "pee" just helpful tips.
Can anyone help have planted some chillis in feb now have 3 chillis but when is the best time to pick them
Can I grow/plant onions where I had potatoes this year? I read that you shouldn't plant onions and potatoes near each other, is this true?
I feed my vegetables with my menstrul blood, which I save from my mooncup. It provides my plants with lots of nutrition - who needs fish, blood and bone when you can make your own?!
I am getting composting quite nicely established with a dalek im the garden next to my bungalow and three compost heaps established on the allotment. The results made quite a big difference to the heavy clay soil in this area and after the third season of cultivation I finally think that I am making some prgress in getting some workable soil and some decent crops. As far a leaves go, there is a plentiful supply of these at this time of year but I feel I really cannot be bothered with waiting for these to rot down for over a year. I decided to abolish the conventional grass lawn in my front garden and probably will in the back area too, so I am using a leaf mulch as an easy way of doing this and letting the worms do the donkey work for me. I intend to have an area of camomile lawn with plants growing through this and hopefully this will include an assortment of bulbs which I have bought. I shall need to have a decent layer of sand in the planting area for bulbs as the clay soil seems to suit the snails and slugs very well as a habitat. I hope that the leaf mulch will not provide them with too convenient a hibernation area for the Winter; hopefully the ground beetles and other predators will colonise the garden and this will help redress the balance. At least I shall have an area where there is something growing during the Winter this year and have a change from the rather straggly expanse of green I had last year! David.