How to Make a Compost Heap Work - Advice and Information! 

For reliable results with your compost heap - or compost bin - it is best to use a range of garden and household waste from a vegetable source - i.e. something that has grown in the ground at some point in its life! So that does not include dead bodies of any kind whatever! A list of suitable composting material follows at the bottom of this article.

If you are just starting out on composting, then a 'ready-made' plastic bin will probably suit you best - the larger the better. Here are a few bits of advice and information on making your compost heap work for you.

The quicker you fill your bin with the composting waste, the better it will work. For vegetable waste to turn into a non-smelly usable compost, it has to be 'managed' and not simply put on a heap. 

It is so easy to make a good compost heap - if you do it properly. We give you the advice and information to get your compost heap up and running properly.

Soil-borne micro-organisms are the key to success, and they can be added to the compost simply by including a spade-full of garden soil - or two over time. Alternatively, you can use perhaps a spade-full from a previous fully composted heap.

Composting diagram

Most manufactured bins will have instructions, but basically the composting material should be kept damp - not wet - and you will find a greater speed of composting in the summer than in winter. The waste will need heat to decompose into a nice compost. A well managed composter will generate its own heat during the composting process.

You will probably need a couple of compost bins, for most compost will take around 9-12 months to decompose. So the idea is to fill one bin, then leave it to decompose as you start on the next one.

Good composting materials for your compost heap

  1. Most Kitchen waste - avoid bones!
  2. Newspapers - magazines not too good. All best shredded firstly
  3. Green materials such as prunings and grass cutting
  4. Old bedding plants and weeds - but preferably not the nasty perennial weeds such as dock roots and bindweed.
  5. Shredded wood - but not too much sawdust

Bad Composting materials which are best not used on the compost heap.

Maple leaf Gardenseeker logo

Popular Sections.

Top Sections during last 30 days