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Dalek compost bin

PlantyPruPlantyPru NottinghamshirePosts: 65
My Mum has got an old compost bin I can have and now I've found a space for it I'm raring to go but I have no idea what I'm doing  :lol: Any hints, tips, must do's, must don'ts please for a complete novice?


  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 1,846
    Put in all raw veg, fruit peelings, shredded paper, egg shells.  No cooked foods, no meat, dairy, oils. Also deadheaded flowers.......amazing how fast they fill up.  Try to keep a fairly even balance of peelings and paper/ card.......some people turn theirs,  I never do......
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,495
    I line my kitchen compost container with several layers of newspaper, which makes a good mix of greens and browns in every dump.  I also tear up the paper egg cartons and add those each week.  
    Utah, USA.
  • PlantyPruPlantyPru NottinghamshirePosts: 65
    Thank you both, currently having a google of it all 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,361
    Just use the search facility at the top of the page here. There are several good threads about composting.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,283
    Had best use out of my dalek as a worm composter. As above uncooked veg scraps, egg cartoons, flower dead heads, also put used compost from pots in there. Egg shells I grind up into a dust, as apparently it tricks worms into thinking they are dying, so they reproduce more. (They don't actually die). I just avoid citrus such as lemons or oranges as worms avoid them totally. Produces a lovely even sticky compost that I don't have to turn, because the worms do it all for me. Keep it close to kitchen door, so easy to get to in the winter. There are particular types of worms that work best that can be purchased online.
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose North YorkshirePosts: 347

    Composting will become very addictive. You can get the ingredients for it from all over. Just try and keep the ratio to approximately 50/50 green and brown. 

    Green is things like veg peelings, lawn clippings, tea leaves. Brown is card board, hag wood clippings etc... 

    I source my ingredients from all over. A friend has a rabbit, every now and again I come home to find a carrier bag of bedding from when he has been cleaned out. I also leave pots at work near kettles and communal areas and colleagues drop used tea bags in them and fruit peelings.

    That is a very good idea @Blue Onion with the news paper lining your caddy.

    There have been some really good threads lately about composting. Have a quick search 
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,495
    Makes washing the bin easier too!  The newspaper gets damp, so I just give the bin a rinse after dumping and a wash with soap only if it's smelly.  No stuck on bits of cucumber peelings or coffee grounds.  I fold over the top of two different pieces to line the sides (each piece covers two sides, with overlap).. and then put one down on the bottom sort of pushed in so that it goes up on all sides to cover the base and overlap the bottom of the side pieces.  Makes the entire processes much less slimy and gross, especially when it's been sitting there for half a week in the summer.

    You will get fruit flies in your kitchen compost.. they come from the supermarket veg or outside, or whoever fruit flies come from.  At first spotting of one in the spring I put out three cups of cider vinegar (about an inch in the cup) with a drop of washing up liquid to break surface tension.  No fancy trap or funnel needed, they just drown themselves.  I also try to empty the compost every other day.. you still occasionally get a cloud when you open the lid 🤢 but it does drastically reduce the issue.  
    Utah, USA.
  • stephentamestephentame Southwest EnglandPosts: 61
    I tend to throw some twiggy sticks in the bottom of the dalek, to have more oxygen available for the process. I keep some cardboard in the kitchen to tear up into the bottom of the compost container, and throw in paper and card as I'm filling it inside.

    The best single piece of advice for composting though, is to enjoy it - find what works for you, try out good advice (like avoiding citrus and cooked food, for example) and don't get pulled into worrying about worms, flies, citrus, cooked food, furry inhabitants, weeds, alien invasions or other compost based anxieties.
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 861
    indeed Composting should be fun wether you are a mad zealot like me (I admit it I am rather obsessed ) or just wanting to make a better use of your green waste. It's all to the benefit of the garden in the end. 
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