Posted: 20/04/2012 at 11:05
Compost needs three things, air, heat, and dampness. I have two boxes which produce lovely compost, you have to fill one whilst one rots down. When filling use a mix of waste, some twiggy cut into bits with secateurs, some soft leaf or vegetable, some old newspaper egg boxes cardboard and if using grass clippings just a very thin layer well mixed in. I also empty old compost from pots into it. When I start again after clearing a box I lay some twiggy stuff at the base to allow air in at the bottom and the worms to rise from below. It gets turned around once a fortnight, lift the front boards out, toss it into a wheel barrow then toss it back, the boxes have plastic bags over the actual compost to keep moisture in and a lid on the box stops it getting too wet and keeps the heat in. I used my own man made effluent as a starter keeping a large bottle in the garage to store it in and it saves having to remove boots etc to go in the house and use the toilet. I mix some of that in a can of water to damp the compost if it looks dry. It can take from three months to six months depending on time of year from green waste to compost. If you are using a metal bin as many do then tip the bin out now and then mix the compost with a shovel then re bin it, this will let in the air at the same time check the dampness, too wet is no good and too dry is worse. Compost well made takes time, in my opinion all the complaints about bought compost are down to it not having enough time in the pile to rot properly.