Creating a Compost Heap
What is Compost?
Unlike common garden topsoil, compost comprises mostly of organic material that has decayed overtime. This organic material is full of nutrients and when applied to your plants, it can provide a helpful nutrient boost to help plants thrive if they are struggling. Compost is a gardener's best friend and can be ready to use all year round. In this blog, we will discuss how you can create and maintain your very own compost heap at home. This is a very basic project that even a novice gardener can follow and unless your garden is exceptionally small - you will have the space to get started.
How to make Compost:
What you will need:
- Compost bin / container
- Composting materials, e.g, pet waste / bedding, grass & plant clippings, organic kitchen waste, wood chips, fallen leaves etc.
- Regular maintenance to turn the heap to allow the compost to get sufficient air.
You can buy compost bins, however any basic wooden container will suffice. Place it in a shady area in your garden to protect it from large variations in temperature. You should have a cover to protect the compost from the rain, however, keep in mind the compost needs to breathe and air should not be restricted by keeping it air tight.
Place your compost materials into the container, ideally you will have a good mix of ingredients without one specific type of material dominating the pile. A good ratio to aim for is 50% soft green materials such as grass cuttings and 50% brown materials like straw, wood chips, cardboard, etc.
Composting can be done all year round, so as long as you keep feeding it new organic material such as food scraps, fruit peel etc, your compost heap will be ready for whenever you need it.
Common Compost Problems:
- Compost is too wet: overly wet/ slimy compost is the result of too much moisture and not enough air going to the heap. Protect the compost heap from the elements by covering it and give it a good mix every day or two and the heap will dry out over time.
- Compost is too dry/ not decaying: This is usually the result of not enough moisture & too much faecal matter.
- Fly infestation: if your compost heap is being plagued by flies, ensure you cover any kitchen waste by mixing the compost heap whenever you add to it and keep it covered from the elements.
How will you know the compost is ready to use?
If you are starting from scratch, a compost heap will take 6 months to 2 years varying on its ingredients. Want to get your compost heap off the ground with a head start? Check out our compost products here: