Posted: 08/04/2017 at 09:48
Caroline, the myths and legends around compost making are on akin to making a brew in a Witches Cauldron. Compost making is not a black art, it needs air heat and to be kept dampish definitely not wet. I have made compost since Adam was a lad from the Stables Midden to my own home made containers. People think you just chuck it in and leave it, you can although it will take its time.
Start with some twiggy material on the bottom to let air in, then add a mix of green and brown material old plants, kitchen vegetable waste, cuttings cut small, newspaper, grass cuttings although only a very thin layer at a time and use a fork to mix it. You should feel the heat rising off the mix and you may need a sprinkle from a watering can with a rose to dampen it a bit. The real secret is put down a plastic sheet and tip the contents of the bin onto it. Give it all a good mix then put it back in the bin, dampen the layers as you refill the bin. If you have two bins then fill one and let it really compost I turn once a fortnight but longer than that if you do not have the time do it at least once if you can. You should get compost in six months summer longer in winter as the weather cools down. The idea of tipping it out is to lighten the mix it can compact, let in Air, and make sure it is slightly damp, not wet not too dry, then it is down to how hot it gets. Hope this helps.