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PurpleRosePurpleRose North YorkshirePosts: 538
Hi. Nearly newbie here. I came across the forum last weekend and I have enjoyed looking through posts. Sorry if this post is in the wrong category, I think it was the closest I could find to my topic.

I moved into my home approximately 2 1/2 years ago and this is my first garden.  It had been left untouched for a couple of years and was very overgrown and we discovered under the weeds lots and lots of gravel.  I have enjoyed transforming my garden and discovering what was underneath the weeds.

Since discovering gardening, it has amazed me how wonderful nature is and how it works, which has lead me to become more environmentally aware.  As a gift, I was bought a composting bin which I thought was fab and I started composting.

I have researched composting but found I was winging some of it. I put the usual in, tea leaves, veg peelings, brown card. What I want to know is, how often do I turn the heap? How long does it actually take to turn to compost? (I have watched you tube videos where they claim it  an take 4 weeks) and what do you put in your heaps? I have read articles online and watched videos, some of the information conflicts.

Many thanks 😁


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,305
    I stick pretty much everything in mine except couch grass roots, bindweed and ground elder. 
    Simple rule is "balance" of greens ( fresh weedy bits ) and browns ( small twiggy bits but also torn up cardboard, junk mail, newspapers ) 
    The reason to turn it is to mix drier bits with more moist bits and the cooler bits on the edge and the warmer bits in the middle. 
    Don't fret too much about it. Worst case scenario is that when you come to use it, some of it won't be rotted, so leave it to one side , use the good stuff and stick the uncomposted stuff back into the bins and start again.
    You'll soon get the hang of it. 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    There are lots of great composting vids on Youtube. Look for ones that feature small bins / darleks - if that's the type you have. Composting on a small scale and in large bins work a little differently as the smaller ones tend not to get so hot. You don't have to turn it, but the more you do, the faster it will turn to soil, if the balances are good. Most people don't tend to add meat, fat, dairy or cooked food as these can attract rats. Don't worry about any funghi you see in there or bugs. They are a normal part of the process. Fruit flies can turn up in the autumn but adding browns on top of the greens/mix can keep these down. Adding a bit of garden soil, manure or pee to mix can speed things up too.

    Have fun with it!
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,462
    In winter , most of mine is kitchen waste, peelings, fruit skins etc.   I pile it in, but when I get  grass cuttings, I mix it all up and it starts to heat up.
  • AstroAstro Posts: 382
    edited March 2020
    I can get my dalek compost bin hot and the stuff breaks down faster. I use veg scraps,fruit, leaves, tea bags( burst them), coffee grounds, cardboard, any waste bread, cereal, pasta, rice, eggshells. Ideally try and get all the material as small as possible, it breaks down faster and it's easier to stir.

     I find that to get it hot using a good amount of grass clippings seems to be the main ingredient because of the nitrogen( so they say) . If I can get some nettles in there I do for the same reason. Some people add urine, I don't because my bins are at the allotment.
    I've read about using a shovel of soil or manure to encourage the microbes, so I do that too.
    The mix wants to be damp and I give it a mix every few days.  
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,410
    To be fair composting I've found is described as almost black magic 🤣 with more techniques and advice offered then almost any other subject on gardening.

    I've settled simply on putting absolutely  everything from the house and garden into my compost, everything goes through the mower to shred and mash up and then I turn it loads (way more than I think could ever be needed). I do this
    1. Cos I think it will help
    2. As it means I'm not having to hoover or clean or wash the car
    3. Because the kids love telling everyone that dad is obsessed with his compost and it's now the family joke

    I have managed in 12 months to produce a large quantity of compost which is now being used as mulch all over the garden, and im definitely suffering from obsessive compost disorder !!! 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I have OCtD too.
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose North YorkshirePosts: 538
    Thank you all for your thoughts. Some useful information there to think about 😁
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,305
    Thank you all for your thoughts. Some useful information there to think about 😁
    Get stuck in , I used to ask my neighbours to drop off stuff to add to mine.
    It's addictive
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose North YorkshirePosts: 538
    I am similar Hostafan1. I have pots at work by the kettle for people to put used tea bags in to bring home  for my compost 🤣🤣🤣 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,305
    Now I'm on a bigger scale and I have a neighbour who brings me horse poo every week and local tree surgeons bring me lorry loads of woodchip.
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