London (change)
8 messages
22/08/2013 at 09:27

Over the last couple of years, I have created my garden into being wildlife friendly. My lastest project is composting. I have been told by a few people that I need to add something to the compost to break it down. Does anyone know if there is anything available that would be wildlife friendly?

22/08/2013 at 09:50

Hello Paula - you shouldn't need to add anything to a compost heap if you have the right balance of soft, wet and hard,dry material, air, water and time.

Getting a compost heap to cook is a bit of a skill that you learn in the same way that you learn to cook in the kitchen. Some cakes turn out well, others not.

I find that everyday kitchen waste such as cauliflower leaves, grass cuttings and so on add enough water, chipped branches from shrubs add enough "fibre" and old envelopes (seethrough windows removed) and other bits of paper add cellulose to help. I have an open heap which I cover with a large sheet of plastic to keep the slugs and snails in place and I just add a bit every day and wait. 

If it is very lucky, I might add a bit of horse or sheep dropping to it, as and when a passing animal leaves a bit at my gate. Other than that, I just leave it alone and it works.

good luck!

22/08/2013 at 12:37

Agree completely. After all the professional Council recycling compost makers do not add anything to their heaps. They just keep them watered and turned, every day.

22/08/2013 at 13:02

Universal Household Activator- get the men of the house to pee on it.

 Extremely cheap source of Nitrogen to get it going.

22/08/2013 at 13:41

fidget  True though!

Guinea pig poo is supposed to be the best but if you have friends or neighbours who have rabbits or small (vegetarian) pets you could ask for the 'manure' as it's a good  addition. Shavings are the usual bedding material for them and that helps the process along too. 

22/08/2013 at 14:02

That universal household activator reminds me of a story my mother told me. When she was newly married in the early nineteen forties her neighbour gave her a big bunch of rhubarb as a moving into the new house present. The houses were all back to backs with a "nessie" in the garden. My mum said to the neighbour, in thanks for the gift, "Ooh what wonderful rhubarb, it's so big" - neighbour replied "oh aye, it's t'night soil tha' knows." 




22/08/2013 at 15:33

Thanks for all your replies. They have all been a big help.

22/08/2013 at 21:33

 I have comfrey growing in my garden

and that is suposed to speed up the composting process

when added to the mix!


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