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Do I still turn a full compost bin?


By Judithj

Scottish Borders, United Kingdom Gb

I have 3 of the black compost bins that the local council provided and by the end of the summer, all were full. Do I still turn them during the winter and is there any point in still filling them up with kitchen waste that seems to take forever to rot down. I desperately need the compost in the spring to lighten up my sticky clay vegetable beds that I built last year. Any tips?



Hallo Judith - Happy New Year! Yes, keep at it, because compost well-made should heat up in the middle and it will eventually turn to useable lovely stuff. You have to keep on adding to it, as I find that the heap sinks gradually and needs topping up. We had a whole blog on this subject earlier this year, (do you remember the bit about weeing in the bin)? I was looking for it but haven't tracked it down. You need to add other stuff as well as kitchen waste, like shredded paper/cardboard and as you say, mix it. You also must get the damp/dry balance right, because too wet and it's yucky, slimy and cold, too dry and it won't rot down. Nil desperandum, you'll get there!

1 Jan, 2008


Also a very good idea to make sure all compost bins are as far away from the house as possible (rats & mice) and that they are not in a shady place, they need sun to heat up and accelerate the decomposition process.

1 Jan, 2008


I have two compost bins and as in Spritzhenry reply you do need to get the mix right and it can take two years before you see the results. You can buy a breakdown powder to add to your mix. This speeds up the process. I would also advice you to to try and rock the barrel as this also helps the process and the level should drop.


1 Jan, 2008


As the others have said keep mixing and adding. I use a shredder indoors, and find that every now and then a couple of pages of newspaper shredded and mixed in helps to stop it getting sticky. With regards to rats and mice all our bins are on wire so that nothing gets in. I learnt the hard way my first year here when a family of rats moved in ! It was not very pleasant so now each bin has wire under. Good luck you will find it worth it once you start getting your compost out.

1 Jan, 2008


Try adding contents of a yogurt pot not the whole of the pot but just add water to what is left in the bottom. Add a layer of shredded paper with every layer of veg waste.

3 Jan, 2008

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