Posted: 03/03/2016 at 12:10
Warmth, air, damp but not wet and turn every few weeks is the secret. My home built wooden boxes against a brick wall and where they get some sun will give me usable compost in three months summer six months winter, the brick wall takes in heat and gives it back in cooler periods. The boxes are an inch off the ground with wire mesh to stop rodents. Start with twiggy branches to keep the air gap then build up in thin layers, spray each layer as you go, damp not wet, add either a handful of granular fertiliser now and then or gentlemans water after a good night out, I keep an old milk bottle in the garage topping up as the need takes me. My boxes have lids lift them and give the top a good toss with a fork. It all gets tossed into a wheel barrow shuffled around and tossed back to get plenty of air mixed in, the bacteria need air as much as we do, damp as you go cover and leave to do its magic. Good compost will be dark crumbly and smell sweet, there may be the odd twig it matters not, if you want it for potting sift it.