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Care of the Soil

Guide to Making Compost

GUIDE TO COMPOSTING

Why Should I Compost?

It helps reduce the amount of household waste produced locally and nationally. As much as 25% of all our household waste could be composted. It improves the quality of the soil, makes an excellent soil conditioner and is a rich source of plant food. It helps to save money as it reduces the need to buy commercial compost, which in turn helps to preserve threatened peat bogs (which are also threatened wildlife habitats) as most commercially bought compost contains peat.


Tips on Composting

Composting is a system of breaking down the complex carbohydrates and proteins in dead organic material into simpler nutrients which can be used in plants.
Try and position your compost bin in full sun as the extra warmth will help to beak it down quicker.



Do Compost

Garden waste - grass cuttings, hedge clippings, pruning’s, old plants & flowers, young weeds
Kitchen waste - fruit and vegetable peelings; tea bags/leaves, coffee grounds, egg shells
Sawdust, wood ash, and soot, spent compost from mushrooms/baskets and tubs etc.
Crumpled or shredded cardboard and paper
Autumn leaves - small amounts only as they take longer to break down. If possible make a separate bin just for leaves as they make great mulch for beds, trees and shrubs in the spring.
Woody pruning’s, if shredded to a small size
Pure wool jumpers
Bedding from vegetarian pets such as Rabbits, hamsters and gerbils


Don’t Compost

Cooked food - meat, bones and fatty food waste
Human and non vegetarian pet waste
Pernicious weeds
Paper with coloured ink—most paper is coated so will not decompose organically
Diseased plants
Corks or coal ash.


Keeping Your Compost

It is important to keep the heap/bin active by turning compost on a regular basis. It helps it to break down quicker.
If the heap is too dry you can add some water.
If the heap is too wet you can add grass cutting/paper



How to use your compost

Once the compost is ready to use you can dig it into planting areas to improve soil structure, especially in clay based soils. It makes heavy soils easier to work and helps light soils to hold water.
Dig into planting areas to improve soil structure, especially in clay based soils. It makes heavy soils easier to work and helps light soils to hold water. Spread around shrubs and trees as a mulch.


North Bournemouth Allotment Society Limited

Cornelia Road, Wallisdown, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH10 4FG