The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Compost Bins


By roodie


I’ve recently received my compost bin that I’ve ordered, but I am now thinking with the snowy and icy weather now might not be the best time to start composting.

I originally planned to make some space in my garden on to soil and start it there, but as its so cold outside that I am contemplating on just setting up on the concrete slabs.

I’ve got bags of shredded paper and leaves to start with and my indoor bin is filling up fast with green waste.

Any ideas guys?

More blog posts by roodie

Next post: Garden Landscapers- are they worth the money?



Good idea to start with a layer of shredded paper(not printed) or straw, but it would be better if you can get it on soil /grass as the worms will be able to get in and help the process. i hope however you do it, you enjoy it. I get an immense satisfaction from producing compost but never manage to make enough!

12 Feb, 2009


well I've been looking into it for a while, I think my family os bored of hearing about it.

This is a list I've put together to start with:


Egg boxes + Egg Shells
Scrunched up paper
Fallen leaves
Twigs, branches and bark
Tea bags
Grass cutting
Vegetable peelings, salad leaves and fruit scraps
Old flowers and nettles
Coffee grounds and filter paper
Spent bedding plants
Rhubarb leaves
Young annual weeds (e.g. chickweed)
Coffee grounds
Garden waste such as dead shrubs and pruning.
Straw and hay
Vacuum Cleaner dust
Toilet Roll Tubes
Wood based ash

12 Feb, 2009


It's never the 'wrong time' to start composting. With the weather the way it is it is not a 'good time' to start but if your compost bucket needs emptying then it is better to put it in the compost bin rather than the wheelie bin. It may not get much action yet but it will in time.
Like Paul, I agree that it is a good idea to put some straw in the bottom and also that the bin would be better sited on an earth base.
Good luck.

12 Feb, 2009


Looks like a good list of ingredients! And your enthusiasm is what will be the best ingredient! Try to make sure the bin is not in a completely shaded area. The warmth from the sun will help the process.You have listed shrubs and prunings, but I'd avoid any woody items unless they are shredded up quite small. Also, evergreen leaves don't compost down very quickly.

12 Feb, 2009


Yes, I agree, go for it.
I have two compost bins, I empty one in midwinter and put stuff in it until midsummer. Then I empty the second bin and put stuff in that until midwinter. So each bin collects contents for six months and rots down for six months. This system works for my garden, coping with all the grass cuttings as well as the compostable rubbish from the house, and gives me some lovely compost for the garden.
I must admit I have the bins standing partially on concrete (at the end of the path) and partially on soil, so the worms can get in but the concrete base makes working the compost a little easier.

12 Feb, 2009


My Garden faces West, and even when we do get a good spell of sunshine, the sun is blocked by a lot of trees!

How much Sun exposure are we talking about?

As the tiny bit that gets the sun is where we have set up the BBQ and seating area.

12 Feb, 2009


As long as it gets some some it will help. If it is in the shade, it will still compost down but will take longer.

12 Feb, 2009


oh i didn't know you could add vaccuum cleaner dust! thanks for that

12 Feb, 2009


I do, Sewing - most of it is Henry's hair! LOL.

roodie, it's fine to add grass clippings (as long as you haven't used weedkiller or anything on them) but only add a thin layer at a time and try to mix them in well, or they go slimy and smelly. A good rule of thumb is half green, half brown - so shredded cardboard is great to add. You'll find that the egg shells don't rot well, but crush them up a bit and they will in the end.

12 Feb, 2009


I'm saving my coffee grounds seperately to put round plants as a slug deterrant (I will try anything as am plagued by them)

12 Feb, 2009


Yes Wagger, I've heard from a couple of friends who have used coffee grounds to protect from slugs with some success although i've not tried myself. I add them to the compost.

12 Feb, 2009


Spritz, I would add our grass and clippings, but my garden has a history of stinging nestles and a few bad weeds so not planning on that still the weeds are all out when we do the garden up completely later this year.

This is why I'm keen to start my compost heap now so its ready for when I want to use it on my garden veg and plants.

If I still had my Alsation id defiantly of added his fur, he was always malting!

12 Feb, 2009


I got a bag of coffee grounds from a well known coffee shop not so long ago as they were giving them away free labeled up for you compost. (recycling and all that) I also rip up cardboard toilet rolls and place in our crock pot in the kitchen with every bit of veg peelings, tea bags etc, when this is full I place it on my compost heap.

If you have a friend nearby who has a compost heap try and get a carrier bag of her compost as a starting activator. It will be full of all the biological good stuff to get yours going.

I have two home made pallet type compost bins and the other day I took the top layer off and placed in the empty bin allowing me access to the very well roted good stuff from last summer.

Never put animal poo on it, and also if you site it on youre soil try placing some wire mesh on the ground first. This will allow the worms and wriggles in but it will definately keep out rodents.

12 Feb, 2009


Oh, but horse manure is great to add to your compost bin - it activates it really well, if you can get hold of any! Trees - you meant dogs/cats etc, didn't you?

12 Feb, 2009


You can also add lint from your clothes dryer if you have one. Another good starter for compost is alfalfa pellets. They heat things up really well. Don't worry if you have weed cuttings in with your grass clippings. So long as they haven't gone to seed they will rot down with everything else.
Hair from combs and brushes can go in. I would watch out putting hay into the compost as hay usually still has the seeds on. Straw doesn't. Leftover cold liquid coffee or tea are good too. Used tissues can go in. Brown paper bags. I use shredded newspaper (yes printed) as the print here is vegetable based. Bits of cotton fabric cut very fine. Cotton threads. Spider webs. Cotton wool.
Starting your compost now should be just fine. If it is on the concrete it will work just as well. You won't get the worms coming up but you will still have the bacteria working for you. Putting your waste in now will just mean that it will freeze and thaw with the weather. Not a problem as this too helps the compost rot down. As soon as it gets warmer your compost will start working faster.

13 Feb, 2009


I've had a compost bin for a few years now & yes like everyone says better on soil, when i put my grass cuttings in i mix it with some wood chippings that you use for pet bedding, just buy a small bag from asda and it last all summer.

13 Feb, 2009


Roodie, stinging nettles are a great activator for compost.

13 Feb, 2009


Sorry I did mean no cat or dog doings. Human pee though every now and then is great as an activator and comfry also.

13 Feb, 2009

Add a comment

Recent posts by roodie

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Jan, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Feb, 2009