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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Your Questions About Garden Compost Bins

Posted by admin on July 29, 2011

Richard asks…

what can i put in a garden compost bin?

apart from veg/fruit peelings, dead flowers & garden waste, tea bags & egg shells? any thing else? thanks all who reply -Lou

admin answers:

Basically nearly everything. All food waste with the exception of meat products (meat encourages rats) All garden waste with the exception of long rooted weeds like dandelion, bindweed, nettles, etc. I personally don’t put in soft weeds if they have gone to seed.

All garden plants and clippings and some house waste like shredded paper and cardboard and the contents of your vacuum cleaner and sawdust. If you have a bonfire the wood ash is brilliant, lots of potash that improves fruits and flowers.

Don’t forget used compost when you re pot your plants tubs and baskets and pet waste from pets like rabbits, hamsters, etc., the soiled bedding, like paper or sawdust, really make your compost heat up destroying weed seeds as does pet droppings.

The things I don’t put in is anything woody, unless shredded, weeds with long roots or seeds, plastic or cloth.

The secrets of composting are are keeping it stirred, not adding too many grass clippings unless mixed in well, and use an accelerator like garrotta or any fertiliser you use in the garden.  I use a lot is chicken manure pellets from the garden centre and the best accelerator of all, horse manure, even a shovel full mixed in gives wonderful results.

So remember, keep it stirred, use an accelerator, and the worms and biological activity will do the rest.

Happy composting!

Laura asks…

I got a compost bin in the garden. It is a colony of cockroaches.How can i make agood compost without cokrchs?

admin answers:

I have a compost pile as well but I have not seen any cockroaches.  I make sure that I don’t put any cooked food into my pile though – just grass clippings, old mulch, fresh produce scraps, leaves and various trimmings and such from outside no fats animal or vegetable of any kind.

Grass clippings when added to the pile, sprinkled with lime and then watered really speed the compost process up- at least it worked well for me last year.  Good luck and don’t mind the bugs too much.

Chris asks…

Should I put live snails and slugs from the garden in my compost bin?

admin answers:

They’re not just going to stay in the compost.  They like fresh food, and will find their way back to your plants. They should really be destroyed.  If you have difficulty bringing yourself to do that, just relocate them by throwing them into the nearest field.  Lol! I’ve been know to do that!

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Understanding How To Incorporate Garden Compost Into Your Garden

Posted by admin on June 10, 2011

Just like people, gardens need nutrients to grow and flourish. Incorporating garden compost into your garden allows you to feed your plants and vegetables and improve overall soil quality.

You can obtain ready prepared bags of garden compost from most garden nurseries or garden supply stores. Many garden supply companies and gardening websites offer an online service and will deliver. It is important that you choose the right garden compost for your soil and particular needs. Some plants and garden shrubs such as rhododendrons and azaleas require special ericaceous compost to make the soil more acid. While other garden compost is suitable for general use for vegetable and flower gardening.

The main advantage of using compost on your garden is to improve the soil structure. Good garden soil needs to be loose and be able to hold water but with adequate drainage. Clay soil can be very heavy, so adding garden compost will improve the structure and drainage. For soils that are sandy, garden compost will absorb water and improve the water-holding capacity of the soil.

As well as improving the structure and water retaining properties of soil, the decomposing compost will gradually release nutrients vital for healthy plant growth. Nitrogen is a vital nutrient in plant growth which can be obtained from garden compost. The use of adding manure as well as compost will ensure a good supply of nitrogen if growing highly productive crops.

For those who do not want to buy their garden compost, making your own compost in your garden has several advantages. Firstly, it allows the gardener to recycle garden wastes. This means less waste to have to dispose of. Secondly, you will know what has gone into your garden compost. So if you want to be an organic gardener, you will have control over what has gone into your compost.

When deciding on your home garden compost bin it is best to design it into your garden. Making a home compost can be made from ready made plastic drums which turn, to wooden enclosures made yourself or from kits ready to assemble. Having some sort of structure for your compost will save space and hasten decomposition. If you find that the thought of your compost bin may spoil the look of the garden, then garden screens can be useful to hide it from view.

When you have to dispose of garden waste those garden jobs can become harder. But with your own garden compost patch or bin, garden clearance becomes a whole lot easier. Most organic materials will decompose, but not all garden wastes should go into your home compost. Leaves, grass cuttings, non-woody plant trimmings can all be composted. If putting grass cuttings into your compost, it is advisable to mix with other garden waste to keep it aerated. Branches, logs or twigs greater than 1/4 inch thick should be put through a garden mulcher or shredder first, as they will not decompose fast enough.

Kitchen waste is a valuable addition to your compost. Wastes such as vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, and egg shells make good compost. Some organic materials should not be added to your compost as they could create a health hazard. Pet waste should not be added nor should meat, bones or fat. Whole eggs and dairy products should also not be added as they attract rodents. Any plant that is diseased should be avoided in your compost. This is because although the temperature in the center of your compost may reach 140 degrees and kill off many diseases, you can not be sure that your compost has been sufficiently mixed to the center to reach this temperature. Using a garden incinerator to dispose of diseased plants will ensure the spread of disease is contained.

Once you begin to fill your compost bin, decomposition can take from six months to two years. The process can be sped up by mixing dry and wet materials and chopping or shredding waste as small as possible. The stage of decomposition will vary from top to bottom as you continually add more waste. The more finished compost will be found at the bottom of your bin and should be removed first.

The best system of composting is to have two bins on the go, one to add to and one for maturing. Remember that the site of your compost is important as you want it near enough to your area where it is to be used but not too close to your neighbours to be a nuisance. Once having set up your garden compost your garden will benefit from good quality garden compost to produce better plants, flowers or vegetables.

If you would like to know more click on GARDENING FOR NOVICES below.

Paul H Jenkins is a highly successful freelance writer and the author of GARDENING FOR NOVICES

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