TIME AT HOME
Start a COMPOST HEAP
'Composting is a cheap and eco-friendly way to turn household waste into nutrient-rich compost for your garden'
Our green-fingered guru, Craig Roman of Dobbies Garden Centres, explains how… YOU WILL NEED Compost bin Garden fork Kitchen compost caddy Biodegradeable caddy liners GET A BIN Compost bins start at around £20. Plastic bins usually have a door at the front so compost can be removed without disturbing the whole heap. Wooden bins are more suited to large plots and decorative bins are ideal if you have a small garden and your compost heap will be on show. You could always make your own container from old pallets – just make sure it’s rainproof, lets air in and allows drainage.
BUILD IT UP Veg peelings, fruit scraps, prunings, grass clippings, coffee grounds and teabags are ‘greens’, which rot quickly and provide moisture. Collect kitchen scraps in a caddy lined with a biodegradable bag you can pop into the composter whole. You’ll also need ‘browns’, such as crushed egg shells (great for deterring slugs and snails), paper and card, and straw; these provide fibre and allow air pockets to form. You’ll
need to keep your ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ balanced. The Royal Horticultural Society suggests 25–50% green materials. If your compost is too wet you need more ‘browns’, and vice versa, to stop the compost becoming too dry or too soggy. DON'T BUNG EVERYTHING ON IT Cooked food, meat and fish will attract rats, so don’t put them in the compost. Never add pet waste, ashes or nonbiodegradeable materials. Also, don’t add diseased plants. Use a garden fork or shovel to turn your compost once a month, to mix up the matter and add air.
KITCHEN CADDIES RETRO LOOK Eddingtons compost caddy, £35, John Lewis
BE PATIENT Compost takes between six months and two years to reach maturity. It’s ready once it’s dark and crumbly with a strong earthy smell.
SUPER-CHIC Oxo Good Grips 2.8ltr bin, £15.99, Lakeland
‘USE THE COMPOST TO ENRICH YOUR VEGETABLE PLOT, PLANT UP PATIO CONTAINERS OR FEED YOUR GRASS’ 106 | AUGUST 2017
3 of the best
RUSTIC STYLE 3.5ltr bucket, £20, Garden Trading
FEATURE CRAIG ROMAN, VANESSA RICHMOND PHOTOGRAPH TIMEINCUKCONTENT.COM/TIM YOUNG
PUT IT IN POSITION Your site should be level, well-drained and ideally on bare soil to give easy access to worms, who helpfully break down the contents. Make sure it’s sheltered – you need the compost to retain warmth for the contents to rot down well. Don't position it in full sun, as this will dry out the compost.
A beehive-style compost bin is perfect for the bottom of the garden