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Making compost for the first time HELP

I'm making compost for the first time this year, I have something to make it in. What I don't understand is what is brown material and what is classed as green also do I need a product called Compost maker ( it in powder form) Any help and advise would be very helpful. Thanks.


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,706
    Green material is grass clippings, green weeds, soft green hedge clippings, veg peelings from the kitchen etc.  Brown is dead stems, woody prunings (it's good to chop them up or shred them), woody/twiggy hedge clippings, torn up cardboard etc.
    I've never used compost maker so I don't think it's needed.

  • JennyJ thank you now I understand where I went wrong. I did try it last year but when I put it on the garden it was rather wet so I didn't count that as compost. I do shred  anything woody but never thought to add cardboard. Thanks again.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,838
    The standard advice is to add in layers but I find it best to mix it as you go if you can, a little soil with the weeds will supply the bacteria for decomposition.
    AB Still learning

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,706
    edited February 2019
    I mix as I go too.
    Cardboard is useful if you have lots more green waste than brown. I hardly ever use it - I keep my shredded prunings separately and add them to the bin gradually over the summer when I have grass clippings.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,470
    The best compost maker is diluted urine. It adds Nitrogen to give the bacteria a boost and start the composting process.  I mix the heap up now and again to put some air back in, and dry bits on the edge into the middle. You can do that by stirring it round witha garden fork.   If it is all grass cuttings it gets anaerobic  and slimy. Too much brown stuff and it doesn't rot. A good mix should heat up and then the pile sinks in size. When that happens, stir it up again.  If it is too dry, water it. If too wet and slimy , mix with more brown stuff, even crumpled up newspapers will do.
  • Thanks for that fidgetbones, I put my wet and slimy on the garden the other week along with the manure and covered the lot with loads of cardboard boxes it does pong a bit but it's down now so to late. If only I'd known I could have shredded the boxes and added them to the compost. We drink fresh coffee and use loose tea can they both go on the compost and if so should I dry it first.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,706
    The tea leaves can certainly go on, and don't need to be dried first.  Coffee I'm not sure about (we don't drink it).
  • OK JennyJ thanks for your reply.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,470
    I add coffee grounds to my compost. Some coffee huses will let you have their used grounds. A good addition to a compost heap. As with anything else, stir it in so it is not a solid lump.
  • thanks fidgetbones we have several coffee place around here will go and ask.
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