How to make the perfect compost

By Mel Eden, garden tools and equipment expert

There are many great benefits to starting a home composting operation. It's great for the environment, as it can prevent a large percentage of your household waste from going to landfill and it can also help your garden.

Treating your garden with fertiliser derived from compost improves the condition of your soil, so it's great for growing healthy plants and flowers. If you want to take advantage of these benefits, follow my how-to guide to learn the basics of what you need to to.

Getting started

The first thing you'll need to get going with home composting as a suitable bin and a location to put it, so start by finding a reasonably sunny location with easy access. One of the best ways to get started is with a Complete Garden Composting Kit, which contains all you need to make a success of this, including a 330 litre bin and a kitchen caddy.

But even if you don't have the space for this, you can still enjoy the benefits of home composting. A Kitchen Liquid Fertiliser Generator and Composter fits neatly under your kitchen sink, but still produces nutrient-rich compost without any odours.

Providing the right environment

For composting to be successful, you need to ensure your bin has three things - moisture, oxygen and warmth. These are essential for creating the right environment for the micro-organisms that are needed to create compost. An internal temperature of between 55 and 65 degrees C is usually ideal, which can be achieved with careful consideration of the right location and container. Also, turning your compost regularly can help ensure water and air can be circulated.

Adding materials

Once you've got the right location and bin for your compost, you can start adding household waste to it. However, you need to make sure that what you put on the heap is suitable. Items such as grass cuttings, tea bags, vegetable peelings, twigs and hedge clippings, shredded paper and cardboard are all ideal for good quality compost.

However, you need to avoid adding waste such as cooked vegetables and meat products, diseased plants, cat litter or dog poo as these can create unpleasant odours and encourage unwanted pests.

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