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in The potting shed
looking for some advise please on the best compost bin / method for me!
There's only 2 of us in the house both out at work all day, so limited coming from the kitchen. The garden is a decent size for a 3 bed detached but again not huge, we have limited space so I'm not looking for something huge.
I've looked at the tumblers and like the idea of them but the reviews are a bit mixed, am I better just having a couple of small bays so I can heap up on one while the other is cooking?
We've got a plastic bin at the moment which looks like a dalek! This came with the house and I think it was from the council. But I've yet to work out how to turn the stuff inside without chucking it all over the path!
The other option I've got is to dig a big hole and bury an incinerating bin (the metal sort with all the holes in the side) with just the lid poking out so I can fill up through the funnel, the worms can get in through the holes I can keep the lid in place, and I can bury it so I don't have to think about hiding it... again I might need 2 of these on the go!
I should also add I have a phobia of our little furry friends! Mice I can just about deal with if I only spot them running out of the garden ( only happened once in the last 18 months!) but rats I'm breaking out into a cold sweat just thinking about it. I know it's irrational and nothing you can say will change the phobia, I've been working on it for 35 years now!
I know I need to avoid cooked foods and other bits to avoid attracting them but it's just there in the back of my mind!
So my request I suppose is please could you let me have your views on the best bins that work for you, and also do you find it easier to have a cooking heap and a heap to add to?
I've had a go before at a previous house but it wasn't the most successful!
Thanks for your help in advance
If you've already got a dalek, I would stick with it. It you're worried about vermin, you could put a layer of chicken wire on the soil before you put the dalek on top. As the lid is a good seal, they won't get in that way.
Put all you can in, mixing newspapers with grass cuttings. In winter all I put in is peelings and veg stuff. Don't put in cooked food, especially meat or fish or dairy.. This isn't a very good mix but it starts to rot over winter. In spring when you get the first grass cuttings, tip it all out, mix well with grass cuttings, and throw it back in. It should then heat up and sink well down as it composts. I can usually lift the dalek off the heap by rocking it a bit. resite the dalek two feet away, then refill.
You can put the first cooked compost into old compost sacks to mature if you only have one bin.
I have two bins....intend to get a third in the autumn
Best to fill one and let it "cook" until next year ...the second bin then to be used with the view it will be used another year later.
I built a large one......concrete sides and wooden removable slats and a hinged opening top. The second bin, still fairly big, is a plastic one with a lid. They both make good compost.
I don't make the time to turn it....as I used to and this makes compost "cook" better.....but I do make sure lawn mowings, veg roots, and all the rest are spread and mixed to ensure ingredients are well distributed.
The tilting, spinning, etc, bins are bit gimmicky I think.
If you get bins with tight fitting lid you won't get rats etc. Can you plant something to hide the bins? Or plant in couple of pots? I like to have something fragrant nearby.....not that my compost smells, it doesn't and shouldn't.....and I have a lavendar hedge close to it.
Well rotted home made compost is brilliant for the garden