I know lots of people who make compost in their gardens. I see lots of green plastic compost bins in local allotments. Our local council collect food waste for composting. Everywhere you look composting is becoming trendy.
As our lifestyle has changed, so has our compost recipe. You basically use what you have. We currently have 11 chickens, three ducks and two guinea pigs to contribute to the compost ingredients. All the bedding (straw, wood shavings, shredded paper and cardboard) and litter is added to the compost bins at the bottom of the garden. It all adds ‘good stuff’ to the finished compost.
As a family of five, we have lots of veg peelings, fruit skins, tea bags and egg shells to contribute. In fact, my bin is always nice and fresh as between the dogs, chickens and compost bin very little wet rubbish is ever disposed of.
From the garden I add leaves, weeds (not couch grass if I can help it), grass cuttings, old vegetable plants and used compost. Hubby’s brother usually turns up with a few bags of horse manure to mix in.
My secret to making perfect compost? Do I mix, turn, heat, layer or cover? No, just tip it in as I get it. I think the secret is the variety of ingredients. Chicken litter is a great activator for compost. It is very strong when fresh and can’t be applied directly without burning the plants. It does seem to kick start the other materuials into breaking down and helps ‘heat up’ the heap.
We build a heap one year, then start another one the next. The previous year’s material has by then broken down into sweet smelling compost which we distribute over the veg patch.
As you can see, the compost is lovely and dark. It has a few twigs, uncomposted bits and plant labels in it but overall does the job.
I can highly recommend making your own compost. It is great for the garden, is eco-friendly and free!