Published on March 18, 2014
Composting Training Guide
Content • Why Compost • Environmental Benefits • Benefits to your garden • How to Compost • Compost Bins • Making Compost • Using Compost • Garden Waste and Composting Facilities and Services • How to engage the public on composting • FAQs
Why Compost Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden and it's easy to make and use.
Environmental Benefits • Reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill "Why do I need to compost when my waste will break down in landfill anyway?" • In landfill air cannot get to organic waste. • As the waste breaks down it creates methane. • When this same waste is composted home, oxygen helps the waste to decompose aerobically • Hardly any methane is produced
Composting at home for one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 : • That your kettle produces annually • Or that your washing machine produces in three months.
Benefits to your garden Your compost is: • Nutrient-rich food product • Help improve soil structure • Maintain moisture levels • Keep your soil's PH in balance • Help to suppress plant disease Compost improves your soil's condition and your plants and flowers will love it!
How to Compost • At Home • Compost Bins • Making Compost • Using Compost • Havering’s Garden Waste and Composting Facilities and Services
Setting up a Compost Bin: Choose a Site • Sunny site/partial shade • To Help Speed up the composting process • On bare soil • Access for Microbes & Insects • Aeration • Drainage • Paving • Remove Paving • Add a raised bed to contain seeping liquid • Or add some soil to bottom of the bin for organisms
Screening your bin If space is limited and you don't have an out of the way corner in which to put your bin, there are some ways that you can screen it from view • Living Plants • Trellis and Climbers • Bamboo or Willow Screens
Making Compost Composts require a 50/50 mix of ‘Greens’ and ‘Browns’ the following is a guide to getting the right mix.
Making Compost Greens • Tea bags • Grass cutting • Vegetable peelings, salad leaves & fruit • Old flowers & nettles • Coffee grounds & filter • Rhubarb leaves • Young Annual Weeds (e.g. Chickweed) Browns • Cardboard • Egg Boxes • Scrunched Up Paper • Fallen Leaves • Sawdust • Twigs, branches, • Bark
• Meat • Cooked Vegetables • Dairy Products • Diseased plants • Dog or cat litter • Nappies • Perennial weeds or weeds with seed heads These cannot be put in your compost bin:
Getting the Right Mix • Too Many Greens • Too Many Browns • Just Right
Too Many Greens What does it look like? • Couple of weeks: Lots of fruit flies, looks like a green lump, smells rotten, warm bin • Month: Slimy mess &will have lost heat due to the lack of air What to do: • Use a fork to empty the bin & break up any solid clumps. • Refill the bin adding plenty of brown material & some fresh greens. • Be patient, it will take a couple of months to look like it should.
Too Many Browns Autumn is a typical time of year when this may occur. What to do: • Compost Leaves Separately to make leaf mould. • Add some more greens or nettles soaked in cold water -a great activator for a compost bin. What does it look like? • Couple of weeks: looks much the same, no smell & just a few woodlice and ants
Just right A healthy compost bin is a living ecosystem. What does it look like? • Couple of weeks: Moist, earthy smell, the level will keep dropping • Couple of months: clumps of green material are still visible, brown items are still showing but starting to decompose • 9 to 12 months: black and crumbly, no smell coming from the bin, some woody brown material still visible, some worms and bugs Make sure you keep adding the right combination of greens and browns
Using Compost Around the Garden
Is it ready? • Compost should be dark brown and smells nice and earthy. • It should also be slightly moist and have a crumbly texture. • It won't look like the compost you buy in the shops. • May still have twigs & eggshell in it. • Sift out any larger bits and return them to your compost bin.
Getting it out your bin • If you only need a small amount of compost for the hatch provides perfect access to remove a small amount with a trowel. • If you need lots of compost then it is best to remove the whole compost bin
‘Compost Cake’ Warm Phase: New Material Microbes/Bacteria Cool Phase: Partially rotted Material Microbes/Earthworms Mature Compost Put Back in Bin Use or bag for use within a year
How To Use Flower beds • Dig a 10cm layer of compost into the soil prior to planting. • Spread a thin layer around the base of already planted plants. • It is important that you leave gaps around any soft stemmed plants. Trees • 5-10cm layer around the roots. • Avoid the base of the tree and do not spread too close to the trunk. • Doing this once or twice a year will help your trees grow taller and bushier.
How To Use Dressing your lawn • Sieve & mix with an even amount of sharp sand to compost. • Mature lawns can really benefit from this kick of nutrients but newly seeded or turfed lawns can be scorched by it. Potting • About a third of the mix should be compost • Slightly less when you are planting seeds. • Home made compost is too strong to use on its own for planting into.
Kitchen Composter (Bokashi) The Kitchen Composter allows 100% home composting to be achieved by tackling the elements of organic waste that cannot be put into a traditional composter.
Kitchen Composter • Along with regular composting materials you can Add • meat • Fish • Dairy products • Cooked foods • An air-tight container and Bokashi, a compost activator, is added to quickly breakdown the food. • After a few days the contents can be placed in a traditional home composter or dug into the ground.
Kitchen Composter • Liquid feed can be drained off during the fermentation process. • This is alive with beneficial microbes and can be: • Diluted as a plant feed • Poured down drains to prevent algae build up and odours.
Advanced Composters Composting Tumbler • Ideal for rapid composting. • Spin once a week to aerate the mixture • Compost could be ready in just 21 days!
Advanced Composters Digesters • Basket buried under ground • Double Skinned Cone above ground • www.greencone.com
Advanced Composters Green Johanna • Rodent proof air vents at top & in base plate • User friendly • www.greenjohanna.se
Wormeries • Use special types of worms • Enclosed • Faster than Normal composting • Resulting compost is a higher quality
Water butts Great way to collect rainwater to ensure a plentiful and free supply of water for your garden
Leafmould • Collect Leaves • Add Moisture • Bag it up • Wait – between one and two years • Use like normal home compost Perfect for Autumn when there is lots of leaves on the ground
Borough Garden Waste and Composting Facilities and Services • Reuse & recycling centre (RRC) • Garden waste collection & composting service Grass and hedge cuttings Flowers and Plants Twigs and Branches Leaves × Soil × Food Waste × Treated Wood
Reuse and recycling centre (RRC) • Garden waste collection facilities free of charge to residents • Green Garden Waste is composted locally and turned into a soil improver, which can then be bought at the RRCs
Further Help and Advice www.recyclenow/home_composting 0845 600 0323
Further Help and Advice www.getcomposting.com
How to Engage People in Composting What are the Barriers?
How to Engage People in Composting How to Initiate Interest • Do you have a garden? • Do you grow much in it? • What do you grow? • Do you find you’re sending money on compost? • Already compost - add interesting info: ‘Did you know you can compost toilet roll tubes?’
How to Engage People in Composting • Personal Benefits • Environmental Benefits • Its easy and convenient • Trouble shooting • What can/cant go in • Where to get more information • Council discounted bins Key points top get across
Frequently Asked Questions • Why do I have to pay for a compost bin? • Optional/Not everyone has a garden • The Council doesn’t get any money from the bins • Saves you money buying shop compost • What is the difference between shop compost and home compost/soil improver? • Shop Compost: not as concentrated can be used for potting • Home compost/soil improver: Very concentrated should be used only with other soil not on its own • What if I live in a flat / have no garden? • Communal garden?
Frequently Asked Questions • What can I use the home compost/ soil improver for? • Dig it into soil • Use a bit for potting • It improves your plants strength • Will the compost bin smell bad? • Not if you put in 50/50 Greens and Browns and don’t put in meat/dairy • Where should I put the compost bin? • Easy Access • Sunny or Partial shade
1. Composting Training Guide 2. Content • Why Compost • Environmental Benefits • Benefits to your garden • How to Compost • Compost Bins…
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