Friday the 9th of July saw the 1st of Lismore’s energy project events take place.

There was a good turnout to listen to Julie Fairbrass from the GRAB Trust give a talk on the work that they do and
give a presentation highlighting the benefits of home composting .

GRAB is an abbreviation for Group for recycling in Argyll and Bute .

If you are thinking of starting to compost here are some helpful pointers
 

 

 

All you need is a 50/50 mix of both green and brown materials in your compost bin.

 

 

GREEN materials include:
 

Cut flowers

Fruit scraps and

Vegetable peelings

Garden and house plants

Grass cuttings

Tea leaves/bags and

Coffee grounds

Young annual weeds

 

BROWN materials include:
 

Paper items which can include
scrunched up, cardboard, egg boxes, toilet roll tubes, shredded letters,
unwanted mail including envelopes with the windows taken out.


Straw and hay

Egg shells

The contents of your vacuum cleaner.

 

 

Please do not put the following materials in your compost bin:


Cooked food

Raw meat and fish (including bones)

Diseased plants

Coal or coke ash (small amount of wood ash is ok)

Cat or dog waste

Nappies, glass, plastic or metal

4.

  

WHERE

To site your compost bin

Put your compost bin in an area that is accessible all year round.

Ideally your compost bin should be placed on the ground (either bare soil or grass), not on concrete, tarmac or patio slabs.

This will make it easier for helpful worms and other creatures, to get into your bin.

 

 

HOW

To start off with it is a good idea to place a layer of brown materials such as branches and twigs at the bottom of your bin.

This layer should be about 6 inches (15cm) deep and will help air to circulate at the bottom of the compost bin.

Good air circulation speeds up the composting process.

 

Adding materials

Once the first layer of twigs and or branches has been put into your compost bin, more brown and green materials can be added as they become available. A 50/50 mix of green and brown materials should be added to your compost bin.

 

Adding air

You can add air to your compost by using one of the following methods:

• Turn your compost using a garden fork;

• Use an aerator stick;

• Create natural air pockets with scrunched up paper and cardboard.

 

Compost too wet or too dry?

Your compost needs the right amount of moisture to work.

If your compost feels dry and dusty you should add some water.

If your compost feels slimy or soggy you should mix in some brown materials such as scrunched up cardboard, paper or small twigs to absorb the extra moisture.

 

How long does it take?

Compost will usually take between 6 and 18 months to be produced.

 

Is my compost ready?

When your compost is ready it will be crumbly and dark brown with an ‘earthy’ smell.

 

 

Uses for compost:

There are a number of different uses for your home compost.
 

Mulch –

A layer of compost can be applied to the surface of soil. This will add nutrients and help to encourage plant growth, as well as trapping moisture and reducing the amount of watering needed.
 

Soil conditioner –

By mixing  compost into the soil to improve structure and add nutrients.
 

Lawn conditioner –

Mix an equal amount of sharp sand and fine compost and spread over your lawn. It is advisable to sieve the compost and remove any big lumps before spreading on the lawn.
 

Seed and potting mix –

Mix equal amounts of soil and compost.

 

For a more information have a look at  www.grab.org.uk or www.wasteawarescotland.org.uk  and look for home composting

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