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I think I want to start composting....... can you come and tell me all about it please.

(10 Posts)
titfortwat Tue 14-Oct-08 16:15:43

The idea sounds great but I don't know the first thing about it other than you buy a bin and it reduces waste.

What sort of things can go in it?
I don't do the gardening thing , so what do I do with it all?
Does it attract rats?

iwouldgoouttonight Tue 14-Oct-08 16:22:59

We have a compost bin and mainly put in vegetable peelings, tea bags, shredded paper and cardboard. You can also put in grass clippings, gardening rubbish, etc if you did the gardening thing! It doesn't attract rats unless you put the wrong things into it (i.e. don't put cooked veg or meat into it). You are supposed to put in a balance of green things (veg peelings, grass cuttings, etc) and brown things (paper, card, etc) otherwise it can get too soggy and smelly.

It does take quite a long time to actually make compost so we've never actually got loads from it - you can just use it in pots or containers if you have any.

You are also supposed to lift the compost bin up every so often so the compost comes out the bottom and then dig it back into the bin again so it all gets mixed up and turned around - think that helps it compost more quickly (although we don't do that often enough!)

You can get mini composting bins for your kitchen so you put your peelings in there and take that out to the main bin when its full, so you don't have to traipse outside every day.

I sound like quite an expert don't I?! (I'm not!)

MummyDoIt Tue 14-Oct-08 16:33:28

Be really careful not to put meat, dairy or cooked food in as that attracts rats. Be prepared for lots of worms and flies (little harmless fruit flies but LOTS of them). Might be worth checking with your council as ours were selling them really cheap with a free kitchen caddy, plus it came with a very useful booklet telling you how to do it.

NorksDrift Tue 14-Oct-08 17:01:08

This might be helpful.

madlentileater Tue 14-Oct-08 18:21:26

Oh, I love composting!smile
sad, isn't it?
all good advice so far, I never bother with turning it, but we have a lot, usually 3 bins so it has a long time to mature. At the weekend i got out some finished compost, sieved it to get rid of big twiggy bits, it's just amazing to think it all used to be banana peels and coffee grounds!

Tn0g Tue 14-Oct-08 18:28:21

I love composting too, something very satisfying about it.

We lift the compost regularly which helps all the waste to decompose more quickly.

spicemonster Tue 14-Oct-08 18:31:59

Don't do what I did! My compost bin is largely full of grass clippings (which turn to slimy mush) and is in the shade. You really need some heat to get things going and if you have to add grass clippings, intersperse them with torn newspapers. If you've got loads of clippings, they make a really good mulch for your flower beds (although I appreciate they aren't that pretty)

I have a little kitchen bin from lakeland which I line with biodegradeable bags and all my kitchen composting stuff goes in there. If it's not too far from the house that's good because I find it's a bit of a fag to trek to the end of the garden

pluto Tue 14-Oct-08 18:39:50

I turned out our compost bin last weekend - it's a little miracle and so exciting to see all that lovely brown stuff from old tea bags, egg shells and veg scraps. Never put meat, fish or dairy waste in. As long as you don't let things get too dry or too wet and keep your bin warmish you'll be delighted with your results. I never bother turning. I used to keep mine in our front garden so the neighbour could chuck in her stuff too - but I found the bin did get a bit smelly in summer and wasn't very welcoming at the front of the house, so now we've screened it off.

SqueakyPop Tue 14-Oct-08 18:42:23

You have to be a bit careful about the balance - not if you are just putting in kitchen waste (no cooked food or meat), but if you want to dump in garden clippings.

You shouldn't get rats unless you put in meat.

titfortwat Tue 14-Oct-08 22:02:25

Thanks for all your replies. I posted and then had to do the school run - I have just sat down. I will get in touch with the council and see if I can get a cheap one. All advice is really helpful and I will check out that link now.

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