Creating a compost heap in your garden is a cheap and easy way to dispose of your garden and household waste. It will provide you with an environmentally friendly way to nourish your soil with nutrient rich matter.

What Container Should Be Used?

 As for containing your compost you have a few different options. There are varieties to buy such as the big plastic bins or you can create your own pile containing it by using a pile of bricks or by buying a metal bin with a clip lid. Drill some holes in the bottom for drainage.


Where to position your compost pile/bin

Before you start making your compost, it’s important to consider where in the garden you place it.   It should be easily accessible for adding kitchen waste and garden waste. However, as it will be releasing gases that don’t smell overly pleasant, so positioning it near to a neighbour’s kitchen window may not go down too well!!

A partially shaded spot is best. Continuous exposure to sunlight will cause the material to overheat, whereas, a completely shaded area would be too cool.

Place your heap on an area of bare ground, that is, not on concrete. Also don’t place too close to trees, as the roots will sap the nutrients leaking out. Also, be careful not to place too close to wooden structures such as decking or sheds as the leakage can cause rotting.

What can go into your compost?

Basically, gather together a mixture of brown and green materials.

Green materials include

  • Leaves
  • Grass cuttings
  • Flower cuttings
  • Egg shells
  • Fruit and vegetable peelings and cores
  • Tea bags


Brown materials include

  • Shredded paper
  • Cardboard
  • Pruning scraps
  • Wood chippings
  • Straw


A few things that you should avoid adding to the compost would be

  • Meat
  • Bones
  • Oil and fat
  • Cat and dog faeces
  • Diseased material
  • Dairy products
  • Polystyrene and plastic

These things should be avoided mainly because they will attract vermin or will add ingredients that will negatively impact your soil. The likes of polystyrene and plastic are not able to be broken down.

There are varying opinions on when the best time is to start your compost. During the spring, there will be plenty of grass cutting and foliage to add. During the autumn there’s an abundance of leaves. The choice is yours. The process takes a good few months to a year to complete.

Over the winter time not much decomposing will happen in your compost heap unless you use a black bin and place it in a sunny spot.

During growing season the compost should be turned about once a week. This adds oxygen to the mixture and provides a good environment for the microorganisms to work. Sprinkle it with water as well to keep it moist but don’t overdo it as you might drown the microorganisms that are breeding.

When your compost is ready to use it should look like dried crumbly earth. Sprinkle it over your soil and water it in well. The water will carry the nutrients into the soil.