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Compost gurus, what am I missing from my stockpile?

Morning all

How do I get the following going in a composting Dalek to good effect?

1/ A composting Dalek. I know there detractors for these, but this will be my initial foray.
2/ A lot of green matter – prunings from perennials with some from ornamental grasses.
3/ A lot of ‘clean’ paper and cardboard, shredded.

My intention is to fill the Dalek in one hit as I’d read this is better than a gradual filling. Trouble is, my household doesn’t generate much vegetable-type waste and it would take ages to build this up to sufficient quantities to match the other ingredients.

What would you do/add to get my horde of waste, currently lying around in bags looking sorry for itself, layered into the Dalek to good effect?

Any guidance gratefully received. I’m itching to start composting!

Many thanks, Johnny
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Posts

  • steephillsteephill Posts: 1,367
    You are good to go, just mix it up 50/50 green and brown and let it rip. Maybe a good soaking with urine to start with if you feel you need to do something to help.
  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,278
    I use straw to keep the browns up, can be hard to find enough browns to deal with grass clippings in the summer. 

    Oik it all out and turn it if you can, really speeds things up. 
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,344
    Bijdezee said:
    I use straw to keep the browns up, can be hard to find enough browns to deal with grass clippings in the summer. 

    Oik it all out and turn it if you can, really speeds things up. 
    Cardboard boxes aren't usually hard to come by, eg from supermarkets.  Or from local shops of all sorts, lots of merchandise is packed in cardboard and independent traders usually have to pay to get it taken away.  So you'd be doing them a favour.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 6,951
    Layering all in one go works really well.

    I keep a bag wood chips by the compost bin and put most household paper into the compost bins. I would let the amount of green waste you have dictate the pace of your composting. If you don't have much from garden pruning and the kitchen, then, so be it.

    There may be a neighbour cutting grass regularly who might want to offer you grass clippings for your mix. You would want to know what's in the grass - no bindweed bits of weedkiller etc.
  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,278
    josusa47 said:
    Bijdezee said:
    I use straw to keep the browns up, can be hard to find enough browns to deal with grass clippings in the summer. 

    Oik it all out and turn it if you can, really speeds things up. 
    Cardboard boxes aren't usually hard to come by, eg from supermarkets.  Or from local shops of all sorts, lots of merchandise is packed in cardboard and independent traders usually have to pay to get it taken away.  So you'd be doing them a favour.
    True, but straw has no print or sellotape to remove etc, I suffer really badly with rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and find cardboard hard to rip up. Mr B does some for me but he's busy with a lot of other stuff so I supplement it with straw. For those with no hindrances then yes it's a good suggestion indeed  :)
  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,287
    We keep an office shredder on in the house and shred our toilet roll innards as well as old bills etc.  I treat this as brown waste. I also have a garden shredder and treat any shredded stuff as brown.  I have a TON of green due to a large, mowed, grassed area.  I have daleks and find turning is the key.  Sometimes taking the dalek off, putting it in a space next to it and refilling with its old contents mixed with new mowings makes for good results.

    Watering is needed here in a dry County, be that by hose or the method suggested by Steep.  'nuff said on that ahem!  😊 The house is a way away from the compost heaps! 

    I think I would struggle without the abundance of green waste as this brings the heat.  I think a neighbour with a lawn would be a good contact (unless they compost too).
  • Thanks so much to all of you, that’s so helpful. I’ll be deploying pee, turning the contents regularly, keeping an eye on moisture levels. @Cloggie that must be some shredder to be able to handle the loo rolls. I was thinking of acquiring a cheapo paper-only number from Wilko.

    There’s one thing I’m unclear about: if my garden pruning are fresh, do they count as green? If not I’ll need to tap a neighbour for grass clippings, clean as @Fire mentioned, since I don’t have a lawn and it looks like everything collected thus far counts as brown.

    Thanks, Johnny
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 6,951
    Yes, any fresh growth counts as green. Dried out stuff counts are brown.
  • Thanks @Fire. That makes sense. Given that most people have fresh growth but not everyone has a lawn, it does leave me wondering why grass clippings are referenced so much. Maybe they offer something extra. I feel some research coming on!

    Thanks again all, Johnny
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 6,951
    It's just that people often have loads of it, if they have a lawn. It's handy. Most of my personal fresh growth is from hedge clippings and I don't have a shredder for those, so the amount of garden waste that goes into my compost is limited. I don't have a lawn either. We have to use what a) we have to hand b) comes from your property so it stays on the property c) is free or very cheap. This way you limit extra inputs and outputs into your compost systems, limit waste and cost.
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