Composting at home is quick to set up and easier than you may think. The process is simple, but it's important to get the basics right from the start to ensure you get the best from your home compost bin.
Spread the soil improver on borders and vegetable patches, to add nutrient-rich content and structure to the soil. This should lead to healthier plants.
Products such as meat, bones, dairy and cooked vegetables should not be placed in your home compost bin. These foods need to be composted at a higher temperature and may encourage unwanted pests and odours in your home compost bin. These items can instead be placed in your kerbside food waste caddy for recycling.
Other items to avoid placing in your home compost bin include
Your compost bin shouldn’t smell unpleasant. If you find that it does it may mean that it contains too much wet material and lacks air. Mix the compost regularly and add more dry materials. This should solve the problem.
It’s very unlikely that your compost bin will attract rats. Try to disturb your compost bin as often as possible. This could simply be by regularly visiting your compost bin to add material or mix the contents with a garden fork. Avoid adding any meat, fish or dairy products to your bin. If you’re still worried about rats getting in your bin, then you could consider using a compost bin base.
If you’re new to composting, or want to discover more successful techniques, you might like our free online course. Provided by Garden Organic you can find out all about the benefits of composting at home and how to get started.
The course has five modules that you can select, from basics to in depth knowledge, including videos and quizzes. Each section lasts 10 to 20 minutes. You can just stick with the basics or go through everything if you wish - all at your own pace.
You can come back to the course at any time, so it doesn’t have to be completed at once.
Login to the free compost course
Please use the Guest Access with the password: LoveEssexCompost
To help Essex residents get started with home composting, we offer subsidised compost bins for less than half-price.
To purchase a subsidised compost bin:
The compost bins are made from recycled plastic and require no set-up. All you need to do is enter your Essex postcode and your discount will be automatically applied.
Purchase your compost bin today
However, if a compost bin is not for you, you can always build your own compost heap from materials that you have lying around.
Watch our series of home composting videos on YouTube
Get started with home composting in Essex
How to make your own compost heap