Obeo’s Guide to the Do’s and Dont’s of Composting
We’re on a bit of a composting kick recently. So this week we decided to bring you a little do’s and dont’s list. Knowing what and what not to put in your home composter, will help to ensure that you achieve best results. Composting can often seem like a complicated process so we’ve broken it down into some simple rules. Keep on reading to find out more!
DO Mix Materials!
For composting to work best you need to get a good mix of both nitrogen-rich greens and high-carbon brown materials. Too much of either will result in ineffective composting. If you simply use all brown materials like autumn leaves, saw dust and paper they will take a long time to break down. Using all green materials like food peelings and grass cuttings may result in slimy, smelly compost which is something you certainly don’t want. Start off with a simple half and half mix and see how it goes for you.
DON’T Compost Animal Products
Any organic material can essentially be composted. However it’s best to avoid putting anything that might attract pests like rats into your home compost bin. Try to avoid any bones, meat trimmings or skins. It’s a strictly veggie diet for your composter! You can find out more about what to avoid putting in your compost bin here. Don’t be confused by this rule when it comes to your brown bin though. Once it’s going to industrial composting meat products are fine.
DO Keep Compost Moist
Simply put, too much moisture = slimy compost. Too little moisture = composting organisms will die. To maintain correct compost moisture levels simply spray compost when you are turning it. If you live in Ireland be sure to cover your composter with some plastic or plywood to keep all that rainwater out.
DON’T Forget Aeration is Key!
Breaking down your food waste is hard work and suffocating your workers just isn’t a good look! Just like any other creature, composting organisms need to breath so be sure to create lots of tiny air pockets by adding stems, stalks and wood chips into your composter.
DO Turn Your Compost Heap Regularly
Regularly turning your compost is important to keep it aerated and to thoroughly mix the wet and dry / green and brown ingredients together. Home-made compost systems are generally easy enough to turn – however it is difficult to turn the contents of typical plastic composter bins due to the narrow opening at the top of the bin. You can learn more about this here.