Friday 8 July 2011


I never thought that I would write about compost but having seen several posts mentioning starting to make compost, it seemed worth writing about our experience of composting. Ummm, we've been composting about about 10 years now.

Our local council is keen to reduce waste so sells cut price compost bins. We are keen to cut costs so we've brought the cut price compost bins.

Vegetable and fruit waste plus coffee grounds and tea bags go into a little green bucket outside the backdoor which when full is put in a big bin at the end of the garden.

 My husband adds cardboard which apparently adds to the mix and we wait.

A few months later, we have compost. Well, a few months later we have something vaguely resembling compost but it has to be sieved. Unsieved compost contains little twigs, plastic labels that accidentally got thrown in and anything else that didn't decompose. My kind husband does the moving of the bins and sieving- sometimes with help from little people who like dirt.

We buy many fewer bags of compost. We haven't stopped buying compost-more of this later.

We sent less to landfill. Not sure how much as this isn't something we have measured! Probably, 4-6 of the small green buckets a week.

Bit embarrassed about this but it is a common problem. We have had problems with rodents in the big compost bins on a couple of occasions. If we were starting again. we would put wire mesh under the bins.

Home made compost isn't the best for growing seeds. For starters, it has seeds in it. We have had several unexpected tomato plants around the garden. If the new seeds are unfamiliar it can be very difficult to distinguish wheat and tares. This is an especial problem with salad mixes when the seedlings can all look different. We have started buying potting compost for this and reserving our own compost for improving the soil and growing potatoes.

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons and we plan to carry on composting.

This is linked to Frugal Gardening 101.

1 comment:

  1. We kept a compost pile in Tennessee, just a wooden box. In it went all the things you've mentioned plus eggshells, grass clippings, and even some leaves. We'd stir it up at times (with a shovel)and after several months we had great dirt and worms for fishing. Yes, stuff was growing in it. That was the only problem. I haven't started one yet, but you've inspired me to get one soon. Thank you for the link also!