Gardening with Simon - Simple Composting

Published on July 11, 2023

Gardening with Simon Simple Composting - Adding vegies to compost pile.
Keep food scraps out of landfill and turn them into gold for your garden by composting. 

It’s a misconception that composting is a science. The key to good compost is simplicity. 

There are a few forms of composting. The most common is the common upright black compost bin. 

To make good compost, you need a few things: Carbon rich ‘browns’ (dry leaves, plant stalks and twigs), nitrogen-rich ‘greens’ (grass clippings and food and vegetable scraps), water and air. 

I’ve found you don’t have to be strict with how you layer the ‘ingredients’. I’ve put them in the bin willy nilly and still had great results. I always added a good handful of ordinary garden lime to help break everything down. The same works in tumbler compost bins. 

Another form of composting is leaf mould. This is a great way to use a stockpile of leaves which you may have collected over the autumn months. Pack the leaves in a black rubbish bag, sprinkle a small amount of water and lime over the leaves every so often as you fill the bag. When it’s full to the brim poke holes throughout the bag to let the mixture ‘breathe’. Leave the full bag under a tree and forget about it until just before spring when it’s time to empty the bag and spread it over your garden. 

There are some things which shouldn’t be put in your compost, such as cooked or processed food, noxious weeds, dog or cat poo or oil, but there are some surprising things you can add to the mix: 

  • Cardboard egg cartons 
  • Newspapers and photocopy paper 
  • Tissues and paper towels 
  • Crushed Eggshells 
  • Droppings from rabbits and guinea pigs (or any pets that don’t eat meat) 
  • Shredded brown paper bags 

There is some great advice on composting online on the love food hate waste website.

What to plant in winter: 

  • Deciduous fruit trees 
  • Blueberries 
  • Broccoli 
  • Cabbage 
  • Carrots 
  • Garlic 
  • Lettuce 
  • Onions 
  • Peas 
  • Raspberries 
  • Spinach

Have a wonderful winter.

Simon Broad (“Gardening With Simon”)

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