My 'compost cake' showing rotted and half rotted compost
Believe it or not but part of the fight against Global warming is home composting. We throw away an amazing amount of uncooked food waste in our kitchens which when put into landfill tips releases harmful greenhouse gasses as it tries to decompose buried under tonnes of rubbish. The answer is to save it and put it into a home composter to prevent that and also to provide beautifully rich compost to either pot up plants with or enrich flower/veg beds.
The secret to successful composting is to make sure that you have a good mix of different types of waste. Things fall into different groups ...
BROWNS ... Woody garden cuttings twigs and sawdust, cardboard, egg boxes, toilet rolls, newspaper, shredded paper.
GREENS ... Old flowers and bedding plants, uncooked kitchen scraps, peelings, t-bags, grass cuttings, annual weeds.
NEVER PUT IN ... cooked food, meat, perennial weeds with roots, dairy products, diseased plants, cat/dog muck.
The way to compost well is to make sure you have an ample mix of the above ingredients, keep it damp and just keep feeding the bin.
It takes about 9-12 months for the ingredients to rot down properly. I find that the best way to access the usable compost is to remove the bin by lifting it up and revealing the bin contents as a 'compost cake', you will find that the usable stuff is in the bottom 1/2 section and as you move up the layers become less rotted. I did this the other afternoon with the 2 bins at home, I took the top layers off and put them back into the bin to carry on rotting and then I sieved the usable stuff to produce the most fantastic compost for FREE!!!! About 6 big plastic sacks full! Go on, do your bit for the environment AND your garden!