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20/04/2012 at 13:19

The 3 things needed for making compost are Air, Heat and Moisture in equal measures.

Its not the grass, twigs, leaves or veg peelings that makes compost, although they are important, its the micro-organisms that really do the job. Provide these microbes with the right environment, with the right food in the right way and they will provide the compost.

By not providing those 3 elements in the correct balance will result in not having the right compost.

  1. Firstly, my compost holders are made from wood with narrows gaps between the panels to let in air.
  2. Secondly, I cover the top of my compost holder with black pastic and a piece of carpet this helps to keep it warm.
  3. And thirdly, I control the moisture, I lightly water it when it starts to dry out - not soak !!!

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Very important this - you also need to add the same amount of BROWN waste as green. 'Browns' provide microbes with a food source, without it, they will die or not work to their full potential

BROWN ITEMS - things like

  • leaves
  • Pine needles
  • Twigs, chipped tree branches/bark
  • Straw or hay
  • Sawdust
  • Corn stalks
  • Paper (newspaper, writing/printing paper, paper plates and napkins, coffee filters)
  • Dryer lint
  • Cotton fabric

GREEN ITEMS - help microbes grow and multiply - things like

  • Grass clippings
  • Coffee grounds/tea bags
  • Vegetable and fruit scraps
  • Trimmings from perennial and annual plants
  • Annual weeds that haven't set seed
  • Eggshells
  • Animal manures (cow, horse, sheep, chicken, rabbit, etc. No dog or cat manure.)
  • Seaweed

When putting green and brown waste into bin/holder, it should be alternatively layered - green, brown, green, brown whenever possible.

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Every 3 months or so, turn the contents over because a compost bin/holder is aerobic - it needs plenty of air. If its of the plastic kind, every 2-3 weeks because a plastic bin provides a more anaerobic (without air) environment, not really ideal for providing all 3 elements which are, air, heat, moisture. By missing just one of those 3 elements, composting will not be as successful and take longer to produce.

Follow these easy rules every-time, and YOU TOO will have the perfect homemade compost, every year.

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