NZ Woman's Weekly

Make your own compost

Make your own compost

A  few weeks ago, I suggested you make a compost bin to save on the amount of organic waste that goes into landfill. Some of you wrote to me and said it was a good idea, but asked how to do it. So, here are my compost tips:

• Put the compost bin in a warm place. Heat speeds up the decaying process,so placing it in the shade at the back of the house isn’t going to work.

• Think of a lasagne. Layer your bin with green matter, which is technically still alive and kicking: kitchen scraps, garden prunings, cut grass and coffee grounds. Then, brown matter: dead stuff, such as hay, paper, wood chips, sawdust and dead clippings or grass. Keep layering green and brown to get the best results.

• Do not use meat, pet manure, weeds with seeds or herbicide treated matter.

• Turn it often. Getting some air in the mix helps compost decay, so get the pitchfork in there and shift it all around.

• Keep the mixture moist, but not saturated.

• Throwing in the odd bit of compost or dirt from elsewhere can help start a good culture in your bin. And if you know someone who keeps chickens, ask them for some chicken poo, which is heaven to compost because it is nitrogen rich and speeds up the decaying process.

New Zealand Woman's Weekly Dec-1-2014-cover

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Breakfast's Ali and Rawdon's secret struggle

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