One of the most crucial assets you’ll ever have access to as a gardener is organic compost. Most households are guilty of producing an unholy amount of waste on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, of which comparatively few put their organic throwaways to use.

A big compost heap

Build yourself the best possible compost heap and you’ll be looking at a ready supply of all you could ever need to grow all the fruits, vegetables and herbs you could wish for. Of course, it’s not quite as easy as just emptying the bins into a big pile and hoping for the best – a few trade secrets stand between you and the compost of your dreams…or at least your plants’ dreams!

Here’s a brief introduction to the ten most important tips you’ll ever come across for building or bettering a compost heap:

1 – You’ll of course want to add grass cuttings to your compost heap to supply nitrogen, but it’s important to understand that if you don’t mix it with carbon-rich ‘brown’ materials, it will take forever to break down and stink the place up!

2 – Never be tempted to put any animal products, droppings or fats on the pile as not only will they do nothing for the compost, they’ll also bring in all manner of bugs and pests.

3 – Your compost isn’t ready to use until it looks like compost. If it hasn’t broken down to the familiar look and feel of dark soil, it’s not ready to go.

4 – Did you know that both standard white paper and newspaper can be added to your compost heap? To speed up the decomposition process, run it through a shredder beforehand.

5 – Ashes can be good for your compost heap, but be careful not to overdo it – too much will play havoc with its PH level.

6 – One of the best things you can put on your compost pile to attract worms and generally better the whole endeavour is coffee grounds. So, if you’re in the habit of binning them or throwing them down the drain, get out of it!

7 – Successful composting means allowing optimum air to flow where needed and the maintenance of a consistent temperature throughout. For this reason, limit all compost heaps to more than about 3-feet by way of width, depth and height.

8 – A compost heap that’s positioned in an area that gets lots of sun will decompose faster than one in the shade.

9 – When the winter rolls around, shovel your compost into black bin bags and this will ensure the decomposition process carries on.

10 – Remember the simple rule; if it was alive at one time in any capacity, it’s perfect for a compost heap. As such, it’s of crucial importance to equip the kitchen of the home with a decent sized bin to collect every scrap of waste organic matter in order to put it to use once again on your compost pile.

Your plants will thank you!


Posted in: Gardening Tips