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(7 Posts)
Hther Thu 25-Jun-09 14:24:31

want to start composting but don't know much about it.

I don't have a compost bin and see they vary greatly in price. There is one in argos though for £20 but this is very different. It doesn't look like the others, no lid, like a wire mesh box with bin liner type thing in it; don't want to pay any more than this really, do you know the one i mean and is there anything wrong with it?

even with council discpunt, argos one chaper.

mistlethrush Thu 25-Jun-09 14:31:44

When I had a small amount of room I got one of the plastic ones with a trap door at the front in the bottom to get stuff out and a lid on the top, no base - it sat on a concrete slab and made good compost, no turning - we didn't have much of a lawn, so not too much (but some) clippings - otherwise weeds, kitchen waste and the wood chips from the chinchilla cage.

We now have a large compost heap which is completely open on top and just wooden sides - this is better than the small bin for large quantities eg large lawn clippings - but it takes long to compost in it.

blinder Thu 25-Jun-09 14:41:22

i just bought a plastic bin for £30 and it now contains a few inches of

shredded paper
tea bags
strawberry tops
hedge clippings


cooked food


grass clippings

Apparently it will take 5 months for the stuff to rot down and it might need a bit of water every now and then. I just read a bit about them in an Alan Titchmarsh book. He recommends plastic bins for small spaces / not much waste.

Looks simple enough!

midnightexpress Thu 25-Jun-09 14:49:13

The main things you need to keep in mind are:

1. that it needs to get hot, so black plastic is good, and the bigger the bin you can manage, the better. need to get a balance of green stuff (peelings, old plants, a few grass clippings, seaweed if you can get it is good) and woody stuff (small chippings and twigs, scrunched up paper, torn up cardboard - esp corrugated cardboard). The ratio seems to vary according to who you ask, but I think 1 part green to 2 parts woody is generally recommended. If it gets slimy and smelly, add a bit more woody stuff, if it's too dry, add a bit more green stuff,a nd a bit of water

3. It needs air, so if you can turn it, that is good, even if you can jiggle it about a bit with a fork. If you have space for two bins, fill one, then empty it into the 2nd bin and start again in the 1st.

You can buy compost accelerator to get things going, but a forkful or two of garden soil will also help (it's the bacteria in both that starts off the process). Or (ahem) wee is also supposed to be good grin.


midnightexpress Thu 25-Jun-09 14:50:41

Oh, and time taken depends on all of the things I mentioned above - it'll compost quicker in warm weather than in cold weather, so don't despair if it sits there all winter doing not very much.

I got mine free fromn the Waste Aware website.

mistlethrush Thu 25-Jun-09 18:47:56

And out of interest, whilst lots of people say it needs to be aerated, I've been composting for 15 yrs and never done it and the compost turns out fine - the only proviso is that you mustn't put too much of one thing in in a lump - eg I spread the grass clippings out over the whole of my 5' square compost heap - and before the next lot, a whole lot of other stuff gets put on...

pocketmonster Mon 20-Jul-09 22:57:34

Midnight - you're absolutely right - wee is great for compost bins. My DD1 loves having a wee in the compost bin. And Bob Flowerdew swears by it!

Hther - when you get your bin put some twigs or small branches in the bottom, it lets air circulate which helps the process.

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