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New garden, should I compost bin and if so, what type?
19

Namechangeforthis88 · 20/08/2021 07:26

Just moved into our new house, very excited about the garden. We have had gardens before but not for a few years. We're already accumulating weeds and so on. I'm not up for driving to the tip with garden waste, or just putting it in the landfill bin.

I reckon we'll have a smallish amount of grass clippings and weeds, and a lot of woody bits, as there are loads of shrub and quite a few trees. Is a compost bin going to achieve much with lots of woody bits?

The alternatives are sign up for council collection, or possibly get something to shred big woody bits.

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MereDintofPandiculation · 23/08/2021 08:31

I send prickly stuff to the Council. But otherwise I don’t like letting anything be lost from the garden. So I make up for stuff we’ve eaten and the prickly stuff by adding veg peelings, paper and cardboard. Everything that doesn’t get recycled I see as nutrients lost

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Caspianberg · 23/08/2021 08:17

We have x3 bins at 1m3. They get garden waste and veg peelings and just thrown in randomly. Always get good compost.

I think you need at least 2, as when one is full you need to ideally close it off and not add anything else so it can all compost, and then start filling other.

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MereDintofPandiculation · 21/08/2021 16:01

Rats’ preferred foods are grains and seeds, fruits-and berries, nuts. I’ve never been convinced that cooked food is more their taste than raw food. But then with three cats I’ve not needed to worry.

The amount of heat generated by compost is proportional to the volume, the amount of heat lost is proportional to the surface area. So you want maximum vol and min surface area, ideally a sphere, but practically a cube or a cylinder no taller than it is wide.

I have 3 bins each a metre cube. Can’t get plastic ones like this, so need to build from wood. Good to have base in contact with soil to allow in the invertebrates that help with the composting.

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WorriedWishingWell · 21/08/2021 11:26

@MrsBertBibby yours is very pretty. Do you put kitchen waste in too?

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MrsBertBibby · 21/08/2021 09:48

Ah that makes more sense than on concrete.

Here's ours. Kinda rustic!

New garden, should I compost bin and if so, what type?
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WorriedWishingWell · 21/08/2021 09:03

@MrsBertBibby

I think a wood frame heap is a lot more wildlife friendly than the plastic ones.

Our heap is clearly a great resource for our local foxes. A plastic one seems much more sterile to me. How do the worms and other critters get in?

Mine are on soil so the critters get in from underneath. Also woodlouse and fruit flies get in somehow.
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WorriedWishingWell · 21/08/2021 09:02

I have 2 plastic bins so one is being filled over a few months while the other rots down. I use it for food waste (nothing cooked and no meat, protein etc), bits of cardboard and whatever I get from the garden although anything too woody goes in the council garden waste bin.
The plastic bins are ugly. I've thought of using a wood bin but would have to get one with a lid and no gaps between the slats because of the amount of kitchen waste I add to it.
The bins are on soil, never had a problem with rats.
The worms that turn up in them are red brandling worms, not earthworms.
I love composting.

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MrsBertBibby · 21/08/2021 08:56

I think a wood frame heap is a lot more wildlife friendly than the plastic ones.

Our heap is clearly a great resource for our local foxes. A plastic one seems much more sterile to me. How do the worms and other critters get in?

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RidingMyBike · 21/08/2021 07:26

We've had no problems with rodents. The plastic ones can be quite heavy work to empty - the ones with a hatch door at the base are easier as you can lift some compost out that way before wriggling the whole bin around and lifting it off.

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GoldMoon · 21/08/2021 07:25

Take a look at the Johanna ( many local councils heavily discount ) we have a largeish garden so have 4 .
No vermin , composts quickly. Very clean. We layer our compost with green and brown. Brown meaning dry stuff , so dried leaves, all our shreaded paper , torn egg boxes etc.

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RidingMyBike · 21/08/2021 07:24

We have 3 plastic darlek ones - one almost ready to be used, one rotting down, one being added to.
Prunings etc including woody bits go in, plus loo roll tubes, green food waste from house. We pay for the council garden waste collection so all weeds and grass clippings go in that - the grass made the compost bins too slimy.
We do have food waste collection here but don't use it except for leftover cooked food, meat, dairy etc. Anything uncooked veg fruit type stuff goes in the compost. Decided it was better it rotted down at home rather than getting transported somewhere and burnt.

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InpatientGardener · 21/08/2021 07:18

Following! I'm also new to compost bins. Do most people have a plastic one? Do you find it any good? My DM reckons a wood framed one is the only way to go.

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MrsBertBibby · 21/08/2021 07:03

We compost loads from the kitchen, we just have a container for the compost heap, and one for the council. Tea bags, egg shells, veg parings for compost, plate scrapings for the council. No rats, but millions of lovely slow worms.

Add garden waste, plus sometimes some sacks of stable waste. Really need to get some more.

We have frames made from trees we felled, one being filled, the other cooking under a tarp. Need to go look at the one that is cooking, it's probably ready.

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fudgee · 20/08/2021 16:28

Hi I got one from the council I got the largest one and put it on the concrete pavement so nothing can get inside, I am pleased with it, lid very secure and best of all it's made out of recycled materials, I just got the kids to help me did up worms which was fun and popped them in with the soil, I put shredded paper in at the bottom then soil and veg peelings aswell as garden clippings, I also used a product from the range which helps break down the compost faster, keep it wet and in direct sunlight and you will have no problem,

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Namechangeforthis88 · 20/08/2021 12:16

The council collect food waste here, so none of that is completely wasted at the moment. I am concerned about attracting vermin. I like the idea of a bin I can rotate. My gut instinct is that is going to be off the ground and won't attract vermin. I'm less concerned if I'm not putting food waste in though.

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viques · 20/08/2021 10:16

I don’t have a lawn, so no grass clippings, but I have four Dalek type compost bins on the go.

Two are filled with free poo from the local stables. Ready to go down as mulch this autumn.

One is filled with garden and household waste and is doing its stuff.

One is being filled. Clippings, weeds, dead plants, vegetable peelings , apple cores, banana skins, orange peel, etc, tea leaves, coffee grounds, egg boxes ripped up, egg shells, other cardboard, confidential letters ripped up, occasional newspapers, florist flowers. Nothing cooked, no meat or fish bones /skin.

Get a small kitchen compost caddy and get into the habit of using it. It’s amazing how much compostable material we throw away.

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HasaDigaEebowai · 20/08/2021 09:21

If you can then get one that turns. Aerating it is the hardest bit

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WTF475878237NC · 20/08/2021 09:19

Just do your research on what items can and cannot go into it otherwise you'll attract rats!

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MereDintofPandiculation · 20/08/2021 09:17

You’ll also have veg peelings, tea leaves and the like, and paper, egg boxes etc.

I can’t imagine letting all that goodness disappear from the garden.

You need a proportion of woody stuff to stop the compost going soggy. I use anything I can cut with secateurs. I cut it into 3inch bits. Shredded woody bits can be used straight away as a mulch or added to the compost heap. Even if you have a shredder, you’ll still need a compost heap for the rest.

If you use your own compost as a mulch, you’ll start seeing real changes in your soil. My garden is clay, but my beds are now rich black friable soil, and it’s much easier to pull the weeds out

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