New Composter.

Hi Gardeners, I have built a composter out of wood. I am very concerned on what I put into it. Seems with just grass cuttings it's dry. I know i can add paper, cardboard & cuttings but can I also add waste, like fruit  & veg but, what else can I add ? also  will all this make it smell & attract wasps/flies?

Will try to post a pic.....





  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,221

    Grass cuttings on their own don't make very good compost. They usually tend to go dry on top and slimy in the middle. Add any fruit or veg peelings, but not meat, fish or dairy products, which will atract rats. Scrunched up paper and ripped up cardborad mixed in will help. If it gets too dry give it a soak with a hosepipe., then cover over with a piece of old compost bag or carpet or thick cardboard. It won't smell.  It may get invaded by brandling worms, but that's good because they mix it up for you.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Hi Molly - mixing it all together is necessary as well to help it break down and to keep the air flowing through it. Warm and damp is the general rule to make compost and keeping a balance of your ingredients as fidget says.image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,619

    If you know anyone who keeps pet rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens etc ask them for some of the manure for your compost heap - that'll get it working.  Or if you know a chap who likes a pint or two, see if you can negotiate the donation of some recycled beer or cider - diluted a bit and poured over your compost heap that will also get it working. image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Dove - I'm sure we don't know what you're implying there....image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,619


    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Molly1966Molly1966 Posts: 25

    LOL. Thankgoodness you didn't want me to pee in the compo...image  I have heard that before, I guess its the acid, that breaks it down..

    My neighbour as chickens, so I will ask him.

    Some great tips for me. Thanks friends.


  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    You can put just about anything in your compost bin except cooked food - that will encourage rats and those I am sure you do not want.  How long it takes to break down will depend upon how hot it gets in there, and how big the bin is.  I would not put perrenial weeds in, things like dock, ground elder and so on, as home compost bins don't - on the whole - get hot enough to kill the seeds, and then all you do is spread seeds all over your garden when you use it - not pretty!  Add eggshells, crushed to help them break down, chop cauliflower type stems as they are big and take time, dry leaves, add some water if it doesn't rain, and turn regularly - a heavy job that I cannot do so as others say, add your lawn trimmings in small amounts with screwed up paper and so on.

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    P.S. You can pee in a bowl and dilute that if being female makes standing over the binimage difficult!!! Friends with small children who are still not shy are useful, the kiddiwinkles love peeing in the heap - as long as they understand that is the only place they can do it in a garden!!

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    All of the above advice is top notch.

    For what it's worth and to start you off and keep it simple, just remember the ratio of 50/50 wet and dry and you can't really go wrong. Ofc add manures, stir it and pee is also good, but getting the right ratio is important or it will take much much longer time. image

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Booker - depends what height the bin is...!! image

    More  great advice Molly from everyone and as Booker says- if turning is difficult you can always lift it out regularly and put it back in. Most people try to have 2 bins, or even 3 depending on the size of your plot, so that you can shift it into the next bin to break down while you fill the first. 

    Aren't we sad that we get excited about compost!image

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