There’s a lot of composting myths floating around the ether. Who knows where they come from, whether they’re excuses, or if they are genuine concerns. Whatever the reasoning, we thought it was time that we put at least some to bed once and for all.
This is usually the biggest worry people have. After all, it’s difficult to enjoy spending time in your garden if there’s an unpleasant odour filling the air.
Of course compost can smell, but this is a sign that something isn’t quite right in that compost heap of yours. The thing to remember is that compost isn’t garbage. Proper maintenance, keeping an eye on the pH balance, and making sure the pile isn’t over watered are all important.
A well kept compost heap will have a rich, earthy smell – nothing at all offensive.
Composting is actually incredibly easy. If fact, it can be easier than other methods of waste disposal; you’ll find that you’re able to compost around one third of household waste. You will have to pay a bit of attention to the materials you’re incorporating into your compost heap to keep the moisture levels and pH balance right, but it isn’t an exact science. It’s about having a mix of fibrous carbon material like dead leaves and green nitrogen based material like food scraps or lawn clippings.
Give it a little turn every few days and when you add something new to it to make sure the heat and air are doing their job, and you’ll find you have the hang of it in no time. Most of the work is done by the compost heap itself!
What is attracted to your compost heap largely depends what you put in, but if you stick to organic materials like leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable peelings you will find that rodents aren’t all that interested. There are also plenty of good compost bins available which can help let air into the pile and prevent anything unwanted getting in.
Be sure to avoid adding dairy products, meat or bones to your pile, as this can act as an open invitation to pests.
To be honest, we’re no idea where this vicious rumour came from. If finance is what’s holding you back, rest assured that a compost heap can be set up for little to no capital, and in the long run can actually save you some pennies.
While you will still need to use a bit of fertiliser every now and again (compost isn’t a fertiliser), compost will help minimise weeds and boost your soil.
There are compost bins on the market which can cost a fair bit, but more often than not these aren’t actually necessary. A bin will look neater in a small garden, but you can easily use chicken wire to create an enclosed composting space. After the initial set up, it’s just a matter of feeding your compost goldmine with veggie peelings, wasted fruit, grass clippings, woody matter, paper and leaves. Give it a quick turn when you add something new and the job’s a good ‘un.