It’s compost awareness week!
The most common issue my friends have is that they end up with a wet, slimy mess instead of dry, crumbly sweet-smelling compost.
Never fear; Mrs Green (thumb) is going to help you put that right in one easy step!
It’s all about yer browns, my lovely. You need more browns!
Making compost is a bit like making a cake – if you add all flour and sugar you don’t get a cake. If you add all eggs and milk; you don’t get a cake.
You need a mixture of dry ingredients and wet ingredients for success.
Or, in basic composting talk; browns and greens.
- For browns think: cardboard, paper, straw
- For greens think: vegetable and fruit peelings, grass clippings
So, go to that slimy mess of yours, give it a poke about with a stick, or tip it all out if you can and start shredding some cardboard and paper like a hamster and add it to the compost heap.
Don’t just put flat sheets of paper or card into the pile, that won’t work! What you are looking to do is create pockets of air; so scrunch, shred or chew it up into pieces, if you’re so inclined, and bung it in.
Give it a stir around, cover it to keep warm and leave it for a couple of days.
Then go back and grab a handful of the mix from the middle of the pile. Give it a good, hard squeeze. If you get just a drop of water from it; you’ve got a great consistency.
If it’s still slimy you need to add more browns (dry stuff). If it’s too dry, then add some greens (wet stuff) or give it a gentle and careful water.
Mix it up, put the lid on and leave for a couple of days.
Repeat ad nauseum until you get that lovely ‘well wrung sponge’ consistency that you are looking for.
After that it’s easy to maintain!
All you have to do is remember to add the same VOLUME of greens to browns whenever you add new ingredients.
So, if you have a kitchen caddy of vegetable and fruit peelings; add a kitchen caddy’s worth of shredded card, paper or whatever other brown you can get your hands on.
If you have a mower collection box full of grass clippings to add, then add a mower collection box full of shredded browns.
Now get off your arse henceforth, go and tend to your compost heap and let me know how you got on.
I’d love to hear your tips too. I know we have some seasoned composters in our company; so please come and share your secret tips for success when the slime monster attacks.
Let’s keep on focus with the topic for today, but if you have any other composting woes, please put them in the comments below and I’ll try and get around to answering them this week.
Oh, and if you want to buy the most amazing, beginners guide to compost; which include composting for ALL garden sizes and set ups (and lack thereof) then buy this book ” Compost – how to make; how to use – everyday tips” which is available 15th May!
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