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coldcompost5 200x150Ideal for those who produce more than the equivalent of 5 x 1 litre ice-cream tubs of compostable household and garden waste in a week.

You will need;

  • Access to between 2 to 4 square meters of garden or some green space such as an allotment.
  • 2 or more composting bins such as the black bins commonly seen that look like a black Darlek. The bin will have no bottom and is very likely to have a lid. See the section on types of cold composting bins, including how to make your own if you have a limited budget.
  • Waste fruit, vegetable and plant matter. These are nitrogen producers, also known as greens, which contain water.
  • Waste paper, card and woody matter. These are carbon producers, also known as browns, which absorb water.
  • Air. Compost production is and aerobic process. The microorganisms, bugs and beasts manufacturing your compost for you need to breathe. Scrunch up your paper waste so that air is trapped amongst the layers.

Perfect compost is created if you use a 50/50 mix of greens and browns layered in your compost bin. You should not need to add any other ingredients. The contents of the bin will quickly sink down as the volume of air trapped within your waste reduces and the contents biodegrade, you will find that you will eventually fill the first bin and need to start on a second bin and possibly a third or fourth. After 3 months check the contents of bin 1. It should be well on the way to good compost. It is not essential however now would be a good time to turn the contents to help add some air, assessing at the same time whether you have the mix right and adjusting if necessary, see composting problems. If you are operating 3 or more bins, and need to make space, it is a good time to combine bin 1 and 2.

After 4-6 months the composting in bin 1 should be complete and the contents ready to use. If you are not ready to use the compost immediately it can be stored successfully in the bin or bagged up . At this point check bin 2, assess the contents for rightness, turn the mix and adjust if necessary. If you are operating 3 or more bins, and need to make space, it is a good time to combine bin 2 and 3. Continue this process moving on a bin each time, starting to fill the now newly emptied bins as necessary.

Please note that in summer the composting process operates faster than in winter when the cold weather slows everything down. Turning is a spring, summer and autumn job in my garden.

If you have any questions please ask me.

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