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Composting info please

Discussion in 'Compost, Fertilisers & Recycling' started by Fat Controller, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    To date, we haven't done any composting at home, predominantly because we didn't have the space to do so. A couple of weeks ago, I dismantled my daughters old trampoline (it was knackered, and she is at that age where trampolines are no longer 'cool' or whatever the word is nowadays), which has given me back a huge area (larger than my shed!) tucked away in a corner of the patio.

    We were considering getting one of the council bins for grass clippings etc, but they want £77 for the first year, and then £52 (bound to rise) for every year thereafter, for fortnightly collections between February and December (so we would probably only use it March to October). However, for £27 I can get two 330-litre composters and make my own, and put the good stuff back on my garden.

    So, I am considering getting a couple of composters, and sticking them in the corner alongside our wheelie bins. Alternatively, I might place them at the other end of the garden (away from the house) in the gap created by the removal of the 'dead' conifer - would this be better in case of smells etc?

    I know I can compost things like grass, leaves, etc but I also assume that there are some dos and don'ts? Things like branches wouldn't be a problem as I would simply make them into firewood for the chimnea, but what about the likes of conifer leaves?

    I know that uncooked veg, peelings etc can be put in, but is there any that shouldn't be put in?

    And finally, would it be best to start one, fill it and then start the other or start both together?
     
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    • Zigs

      Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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      Fill one at a time, so you got one maturing while the other is being built.

      Conifer leaves take ages to rot down and come under leafmold rather than compost.

      Layers of crumpled cardboard after kitchen waste makes a better carbon/nitrogen ratio and a less soggy end result.

      It'll help if you empty it out and fork it back in again at least once to get some air in it/ mix it up :spinning:
       
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      • Fat Controller

        Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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        Could we use shredded paper instead of cardboard @Zigs?

        I'll just burn the conifer bits then, and enjoy the warmth.....
         
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        • Zigs

          Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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          Both would be good :)

          Don't forget the compost activator after you been drinking the strawberry jam wine ;)
           
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          • Fat Controller

            Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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            Pee on it? Is slightly alcoholic pee better than plain pee then?
             
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            • Zigs

              Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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              No, it just doesn't worry you if the neighbour see you when you'm had a few :heehee:
               
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              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                The bottom of the garden is the better place to have it. There's unlikely to be any smells but you have the downside of being more visible when having to stand on something to pee into it :heehee: - unless you're a good shot when in your cups. :biggrin:

                Also, when emptying it or turning it you won't make a mess on the patio.

                Not bad, my 32,000th post is about composting and peeing! :lunapic 130165696578242 5:
                 
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                • Jiffy

                  Jiffy Not a Bright Spark

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                  Morning Pee is best :biggrin:

                  I just put all greens and cardboard (but not the tape)in, if i have a lot of grass cuttings i always tread on them in the bin that way they heat up quicker then i would turn it over with a fork after a week and so on (i do like the smell of hot grass ie silage) :snorky:
                  all big stuff goes through shedder and in but if you haven't got shedder just stand over bin as you cut things up into smaller bits
                   
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                    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
                  • shiney

                    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                    So, you tread it in whilst peeing :ideaIPB:
                     
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                    • Jiffy

                      Jiffy Not a Bright Spark

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                      Don't tell everyone :rolleyespink:
                       
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                      • Scrungee

                        Scrungee Well known for it

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                        If you make wine, keep you composters as far away as possible, they're a breeding ground for thousands of wine (fruit) flies that'll head straight for you back door, open windows, al fresco wine glass, etc. every time you lift the lid in summer.
                         
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                        • "M"

                          "M" Total Gardener

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                          ~ Do not put any perennial weeds in the composter (for nettles, make nettle tea instead)
                          ~ Do not put any cooked food in the composter; as for veggies (raw) none are banned as far as I'm aware.

                          The biggest reason for ending up with stinky sludge is because there are not enough "browns" in there - I know this from experience! So, I now make a point of picking up those free newspapers from the shop at weekends, just for this purpose. I do put all my office paper shredder stuff in there but I just wasn't producing enough.

                          Wee: do not let Mr Shy Knee mislead you ... no, you do *not* have to stand proud at the composter to "water" your compost ... sufficient to use a receptacle in your bathroom and then pour it on ;) Also, do remember that by harnessing your liquid waste product for the composter, you are also saving water in the home (less flushing ;) ) so .. very economical ;) Now, if you could drink your drink from paper cups ... just saying! :whistle: :heehee:

                          If you have the space, I would always recommend 3 composters: fill B1 in year one; leave B1 alone in second year and fill B2. Third year, leave the other two alone and fill B3; in the Spring of the fourth year, leave B2 & B3 alone, use contents of B1 over your garden and then begin the process of refilling B1. Yes, it does take a little time but, it is well worth it! :thumbsup:
                           
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                          • Jiffy

                            Jiffy Not a Bright Spark

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                            That's were i've been going wrong on a feezing cold morning, good job i haven't got a metal pole by the compost bin!!
                             
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                            • JJ28

                              JJ28 Gardener

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                              Please can you put pulled up broad bean plants in compost - as they are covered in blackfly? Or are blackfly going to infest the whole bin and susequent compost?
                               
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                              • Zigs

                                Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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                                Put em in, blackfly can only live on live plants :thumbsup:
                                 
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