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By Kk21

United Kingdom Gb

I recently set up our first ever compost heap, well bin really, having bought an Ecomax 330 a couple of weeks ago.

I've read that you need a mixture of 'greens' and 'browns' to make sure the bin doesn't turn into an evil smelling mass

Toilet roll inners, egg boxes and general cardboard are supposed to be good sources of brown goods, but should these just be put in whole... to let air pockets develop

.. or should they be cut up into wee bits first.

Also, I could get piles of shredded paper from work, should I add this, or is this only good in limited amounts.

My aim is to fill the bin within the next couple of months, so it can build up some heat and rot down ready for next spring.

Any finally, Is seaweed a green or a brown and should this be chopped up first ?

thanks !



Well, I don't know about all this Green and Brown stuff, but I'll tell you what goes into mine:

Kitchen waste - eg potato peelings, apple cores, leaves, egg shells, paper kitchen towells, tea bags (BUT NOT anything that has been cooked or processed or meat)
Garden waste - Weeds, clippings, dead flower heads, grass clippings (just a few handfalls of grass at a time ie not too much)

And every now and then a good shovell full of earth containing worms and other life that help to break it all down.

Stir it all up a bit once in a while to keep it fluffed up and well mixed. And that's what works for me!

28 Apr, 2009


Follow Sids advice and you wont go far wrong. I tear up toilet rolls and the odd cardboard box. Grass is fine as long as it isnt in a big glut. Browns are youre tree prunings chopped up along with cardboard scrunched up paper etc. Greens are veggie peelings, clippings, trimings etc.

Some people soak all there weeds to rot down first and after a few weeks then add to the compost heap. The water can go on youre plants.

Compost heaps need to get really warm/hot to decompose some weeds otherwise they will grow back from seed.

I often find tomateos growing where ever I have used my own compost as the seeds of these are just the same.

Oh dont add animal waste. You can add male urine every now and then.

Snip your seaweed. Anything that is small will break down easier and quicker. making youre compost work quicker.

28 Apr, 2009


You can add female urine too... just pee in a bucket and tip over the compost.
Seaweed can also be used as a mulch on veggies.
In theory you can also put small amounts of cotton and wool (not synthetics) in your compost but it has to work for a good while to break them down.
Don't do as a friend did and put her babies nappy liners in... bonded paper does not rot down!

29 Apr, 2009


Hello there
I love compost heaps/bins, it is so fascinating that you put in a load of rubbish and get beautiful rich compost. Animals manure is a great accelerator, I use chicken dung because I keep them. Also horse or farmyard manure to get started, nettles particularly when they are young in spring are good, seaweed is great. I would be very careful about the cardboard/paper percentage that is being put in. I believe that this can alter the nitrogen levels, would have to look up to see the correct ratio. Wee wee is of course a great addition to the heap, but it depends how you feel about this. My heap is in a very private corner so I am ok, also my granddaughter lives with me so her potty is always emptied there, though again it has to be in moderation. I think that is the secret, a complete mix without too much of anything. I know lawn mowings heat very quickly and are not good in great quantities. There are heaps of books in the library and on the internet. I have tried the commercial additives to get it going, but I am completely organic and on a budget, so why not let Mother Nature do it for you. Good luck and happy composting

29 Apr, 2009


All of the advice above is great, but I would just add that shredded paper is fine and would be considered a "brown" item. Just be careful about colored inks and glossy or treated papers, as these can contain harmful chemicals.
Coffee grounds and tea leaves are great and as Sid says a spadeful of garden soil will help to more things along!

29 Apr, 2009


Thanks for all the good advice

happy gardening to you all

29 Apr, 2009

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