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Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms our kitchen and garden waste into a valuable food for your garden. Finished compost is great for using on flowerbeds, vegetable plots, and for mixing into planters. By composting at home, you can reduce the amount of rubbish you put out for collection and you return important nutrients and minerals to your soil. Composting is cheap, it's easy to make, and it's even easier to use. Get composting today!
There is a discounted bin scheme for Derbyshire Dales residents. For further details or to order a compost bin visit www.derbyshire.getcomposting.com or telephone 0844 571 4444.
Home composting advice is available on the Recycle Now website.
Five simple steps to get composting!
Step one - Placing your bin
It's best to site your bin on a level, well-drained spot. This allows excess water to drain out and makes it easier for creatures such as worms to get in and get working on breaking down the contents. Placing your bin in a partially sunny spot can help speed up the composting process.
Step two - Put these in!
Your compost relies on the right ingredients to make it work. Good things you can compost include The Greens,these are quick to rot and provide important nitrogen and moisture and the Browns,these are slower to rot. They provide fibre and carbon and also allow important air pockets to form in the mixture.
|Vegetable peelings||Cardboard egg boxes|
|Fruit waste||Scrunched up paper or newspaper|
|Plant prunings||Crushed eggshells|
Step three - Keep these out
- cooked vegetables
- dairy products
- diseased plants
- dog poo or cat litter
- baby's nappies
Putting these in your bin can encourage unwanted pests and can also create odour. Also avoid composting perennial weeds (such as dandelions and thistle) or weeds with seed heads.
Step four - Making good compost
The key to good compost lies in getting the mix right. You need to keep your Greens and Browns properly balanced. If your compost is too wet, add more Browns. If it's too dry, add some Greens. Making sure there is enough air in the mixture is also important. Adding scrunched up bits of cardboard is a simple way to create air pockets that will help keep your compost healthy. Air can also be added by mixing the contents. After approximately 6-9 months your finished compost will be ready.
Step five - Using your compost
Finished compost is a dark brown, almost black soil-like layer that you'll find at the bottom of your bin. It has a spongy texture and is rich in nutrients. Some bins have a small hatch at the bottom that you can remove to get at the finished product, but sometimes it's even easier to lift the bin or to tip it over to get at your compost. Spreading the finished compost into your flowerbeds greatly improves soil quality by helping it retain moisture and suppressing weeds. Composting is the easiest way to make your garden grow more beautiful.