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Waste not want not

Anything organic can be composted over time. However, we want it to be in a reasonable time so we compost kitchen waste, food waste and garden waste. Avoid human and cat waste unless you have a composting toilet. Leaves are best treated in a Leaf Mould cage or a black bag for a while before being put on the compost heap.

To start a compost heap or bin
Place woody material, sweetcorn stalks etc at the base to allow some airflow up into the heap. Next place a six inch layer of green material. You can then layer it with food waste, cardboard and newspapers. Do not use too much paper waste but use it to separate layers. Use a shredder or shears to cut the items into small pieces and crush stems to break the surface. The smaller the particles the more surface area they have relative to weight and the faster they will decompose

Top off with a piece of old carpet or some plastic sheeting to stop it getting too wet in the rain and to keep the heat in.

The heap should be ready to turn in four or six weeks. Compost should regularly be turned to ensure air gets in to aid conversion of the waste. Turn it every six weeks.

To make a Leaf Mould Cage

Drive four stakes into the ground and staple chicken netting around to make the cage. Pile in the leaves and leave them for a year. You will find the pile reduces as time goes on by about two thirds, so keep topping up as more leaves fall. If you a garden vacuum mulchers that suck up leaves and chop them, you will find the leaves rot down much more quickly.

Other waste
If you add a composting toilet to the mix then you really are wasting nothing.

Wast not want not as the old saying goes.

1 comment to Waste not want not

  • Kenneth Eames

    Natures way of recycling waste into plant food. If you live near the sea add seaweed to the mix. Wood shavings and sawdust may be used as well but not in large quantities. These should be distributed sparingly throughout the layers. If using the no-dig system and breaking in new ground compost should be at least four inches deep and kept at this thickness. Deeper will be better. Kenneth Eames.

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