Making compost

I've always been able to make pretty good compost in a reliable darleck at home but it's proving more difficult on the plot. 

I'm producing more green stuff to compost then brown. I've 6 darlecks, a pallet bay and a leaf bay. 

How do other posters compensate for the lack of brown stuff.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,932

    Add in ripped up newspaper. Not the shiny mag stuff, but most other is good. I have a pile of dry leaves that I mix in with grass cuttings to stop the cuttings getting slimy.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,823

    Lots of fruit and veg peelings plus a good helping of shredded paper, tea bags, and coffee grounds.

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 2,660

    If you are anywhere near a farm or stables supplies store, you can get a big bale of wood shavings (used for horse and other animal bedding) fairly cheaply. Easy then to add a few handfuls if things start getting too wet.

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 1,757

    We have more grass cuttings than the compost bins can cope with. I just turn it, breaking up the clumps and letting in air, frost etc. When it's nearly done I mix in the stuff from the ready compost bin. It makes fantastic compost. You may feel it is hard work but I am in my sixties and  very slightly disabled, so it can't be that bad!

  • I have found that cardboard boxes either from deliveries and post or by stealing some of the ones they have in supermarkets to help you get stuff home ripped up do a great job of adding to the brown stuffs.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,155

    Thanks for the replies. I have a couple of bags of sawdust, possibly about 10 bags of leaves, can get coffee beans and will try to get more cardboard.

    I left the lid off one bin and it has started to dry out, the hot weather we've had has helped.

    I can also get lots of muck, would ths icount as a brown.

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 1,757

    If it's rotted it can go straight on the soil but if it is fresh, bung it in with your compost. You don't need to get too hung up on this brown green thing, as long as it is uncooked plant waste it will all break down in time. I am not keen on dalek bins because the secret of good compost is turning it and mixing it up, again and again. Soft green leaves rot fastest, chunks of wood can take years so the best way is to break up your material into smaller pieces, leaving wood and wood chips in a separate bin but coarse stems, plant leaves, peelings, grass and so on in your main bin. Leaves from trees can go in, especially if you chop them up, but they will make the very best compost if you put them in a wire sided container and just leave them alone for a couple of years. As you have seen, some people add cardboard and paper and Bob Flowerdew wees in his bins, but I tend to stick to plants!

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,932

    I have used all green stuff, it just needs to be chunky so that it doesn't end up as a slimy mess of grass cuttings. Stirring it regularly with a fork helps too. If all I have is grass cuttings, I mix it well with the part rotted stuff below it.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Sawdust is not ideal for compost.  Remember to remove the tape (if used) from cardboard before putting it in the compost heap.  Do you shred all your correspondence?  Plain paper, without the envelope windows and shiny paper.? 

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,155

    No I only have a hand shredder for correspondence so  burn mags and junk mail on the plot and spread the ash with muck in the autumn.

    Would sawdust be OK to store veg in over Winter. Slightly off topic but I'm growing squash and pumpkin. I don't have room to store them at home. I was saving the sawdust to pack around stored veg.

Sign In or Register to comment.