Our local authority delivered a ‘composter’ to us FREE, to encourage us to recycle our kitchen and garden waste. It was a solid, big, plastic drum, with precious little chance of any air circulation. Turning would also have been a very difficult process given the narrow top. The green motives might have been good, but unfortunately it was simply not practical and I fear might have put any first- time composters off!
Let’s compare the Compost-Air to that...
The holes all over the side wall of the Compost-Air allow air circulation, like a traditional, slatted compost bin.
In addition, there is an air-tube, which lies on the ground across the centre of the Compost-Air, to allow a flow of air under the compost. This helps the lazy composter, but for the best compost you should still turn it occasionally. We sit two Compost-Airs side by side and every few months empty one into the other.
Alternatively, the very handy compost turning tool makes this job very easy.
Made of 100% recycled plastic, it is extremely durable and will last for years, where our timber slatted composter has definitely seen better days, with rotting timbers needing replacing.
When it is not in use, it can easily be rolled up and put away.
Your garden will love the results and be a healthier, tidier place.
What to use in the compost mix
How to make compost
Green Material - the nitrogen-rich stuff which rots quickly
Nettles but not the roots
Fresh fruit and vegetable peelings, Uncooked
Tea bags and leaves, coffee grounds
Soft green prunings
Animal manure from herbivores e.g. cows, sheep, goats and horses
Poultry manure which is probably the richest nitrogen contributor
Brown material - which supply the carbon-rich ingredients but is slow to rot
Any Bedding such as hay, straw, shredded paper and wood shavings from vegetarian pets like hamsters and rabbits
Sawdust, Wood shavings and Straw which have little or no nitrogen content so are an ideal mix with Poultry manure
Cardboard eg cereal packets, toilet roll tubes and egg boxes - best shredded
Waste paper and junk mail, including shredded confidential waste
Newspaper & magazines - although in general it's better to send them for recycling
Tough hedge clippings and Woody prunings which ideally should be chipped up
Old bedding plants
Other compostable items:
Wood ash - but be careful not to form a layer in the heap so mix in immediately.
Natural fibres, eg wool or cotton
Do NOT compost:
Meat or Fish
Any Cooked food
Coal & coke ash
Cat litter or Dog faeces
Add a layer of browns to form a well aerated layer at the bottom.
Then add a layer of greens and mix lightly.
After that shred/chip and mix the browns with the greens when adding layers.
Add micro-organisms to speed up the process such as Biotal for example.
Once the Compost-Air is full secure the cover in place but check regularly.
Control the moisture content and add water if necessary.
It is important to maintain the air flow so check the Air Tube supplied and occasionally the moisture level around the outside of your Compost-Air.
But be aware that too much air and the material dries out while too little and it becomes wet and soggy or anaerobic.
And what should we get?
The end product should be moist but crumbly with a sweet smell just like a forest soil. It should also be free of weed seeds although this is harder to achieve with small quantities of material being composted at any one time.
It should contain macro and micronutrients beneficial to plant growth as well as various trace minerals.
Composts are fantastic for improving soil structure and helps soil to retain water.
The greater the variety of materials used in the making of the compost the greater the provision of nutrients in the end product - compost.