Tips for composting

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Richard Jackson Hello! As it's Compost Awareness week, I've put together some tips for good composting. I'd encourage anyone to make their own compost as there's something really satisfying about turning kitchen and garden waste into magic for your plants – and it's free!

The ideal mix for your compost heap is:

• kitchen peelings like potato peel, apple cores, and carrot tops.

• grass clippings from the garden.

• fibrous materials like prunings, woody materials and scrunched-up paper.

Don't add cooked food to your compost heap as this will attract vermin.

Adding layers

The secret to good composting is adding material in layers.

Composting isn't an exercise in precision, but avoid putting too much of any one thing onto your compost heap at any one time. The ideal mix is kitchen peelings, grass clippings, and fibrous materials in even quantities.

For your fibrous layer, an excellent alternative to woody materials is scrunched-up pieces of newspaper. This gives your heap the added aeration it needs to ensure the materials break down in extra-quick time.

Be patient. Some people turn over their compost heap every six months, but I never bother because if you've got layers and the aeration from your fibrous material, there's no need.

Managing your compost heap

Ideally you want two or three bins on the go; one that's just starting, one that's full, and one that's maturing.

It takes about a year for the compost to turn into decent humus. Your compost is magical stuff, so use it every time you plant something. Compost retains water, encourages plant roots to grow better, and it has a bit of nutrient content so it's fantastic stuff.

Find out more about Compost Awareness week.

6 Comments

  1. JOHN BRYCE August 30, 2009 at 1:43 am -  Reply

    WILL THE TWIN PACK SPRAY &GROW WORK ON MY HEDGE WICH I HAVE JUST CUT BACK IN HEIGHT & WIDTH TWO FOOT IN WIDTH & ONE FOOT IN HEIGHT WILL IT HELP TO GROW IT BACK BETTER & HEALTHIER .
    JOHN. EDINBURGH

  2. Pat Waites April 18, 2011 at 11:32 pm -  Reply

    Hello Richard.
    I saw on one of your shows that you used small round discs that you put in baskets that held the water? in fact they doubled their size, can you please tell me what they are called as I need to order some.
    Thanks.
    Pat.

  3. Pat Foxton August 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    I started using your Flower Power this year and I’m amazed at the results. Friends cant believe how fabulous my hanging baskets have been. Could you please advise me when to stop using the Flower Power, as I thought that most plants and fruit bushes rested during the winter.
    Thank you
    Pat

  4. Therese Gill August 31, 2011 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    Please can we have your root booster avaiable to purchase on its own again

  5. Mrs Vivienne Chapman April 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    Love all your products and would like more of the Invigorator. I have purchased the package that included a spray bottle of invigorator and I have purchased 2 of the package this year that contained 2 packs of the concentrate which made 1 litre each. Alas still not enough for me, could you possibly make a package like your weed killer, 1 spray bottle ready for use and 1 bottle that could make-up serveral litres, I am sure it would be very popular, I would buy more than 1 that is for sure. Thanks, great programme.

  6. Mike Pearce June 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi
    Could you tell me if,your multi purpose compost good for re potting bird of Paradise strelitzai as i am a novice

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