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More Types of Compost Bin

A basic plastic compost bin. Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks. Basic Plastic compost bin. Light to move around, simple to assemble and it will last indefinitely. This is a great solution for small to medium sized gardens. 

The type on the left comes in several colours including a good shade of green to blend in with the background.



Good Plastic compost bin. A slightly 'up market' plastic bin. It has a matching lid plus a hatch at the bottom which can be opened up to remove compost with a spade.

No assembly is required at all (other than putting on the lid of course!) and it's light and strong.
CLICK PICTURE TO ENLARGE Good quality plastic compost bin. Click picture to enlarge. Copyright David Marks


Compost Tumbler. One of the most sophisticated types and the most expensive. Load up the compost and daily rotate the cylinder to tumble up all the compost ingredients.

This speeds up the composting process from 10 months to just 14 days in warm conditions

Some assembly is required, but it's simple to do.

Click here to buy this Compost Tumbler.

What Ingredients Are Best?
The first rule is to mix finer and coarser ingredients. All of the ingredients below are good for the compost heap.

Coarse ingredients include straw, egg shells, shrub trimmings, larger weeds.
Intermediate ingredients include shredded newspaper, most kitchen waste.
Finer ingredients include grass clippings, green leaves, small weeds, tea leaves.
Activator ingredients are the various animal manure - horse, cow, pig, chicken - almost all animal manure is suitable.

Don't use meat or fat, too much wood ash, sawdust or weeds in seed on the compost heap.

Building the Layers of the Compost Heap

Start with a layer, about 5cm (2inches) deep, of grass cuttings , then a layer of activator (manure, bone meal etc) then some coarser material such as kitchen waste or larger weeds, the finish with coarser material such as shrub cuttings or straw. Don't worry too much about the sequence, the key is to alternate between finer materials, the activator and the coarser material. 

Don't position the compost heap too near trees or shrubs, the roots of these plants may surface and grow into the compost heap. It is best however to put a layer of soil at the base of the compost heap and ensure its level.

When the Compost is Ready

In an ideal world, your compost will be ready about three months after the heap has been completed. The compost material will be crumbly and brown, damp but not wet.

In a typical compost heap however, the quality may be variable with some parts only half rotted. The probable reason is that your compost heap is too small. The solution is to use the good parts of the compost heap and use the rest to start of the next heap. Don't dig only partially composted material into your soil. If you do this, the texture of the soil will be improved, but as the material rots within the soil, it will suck up all the nutrients. If you must use partially composted material in the garden, use it as a mulch on the soil surface.

Digging the compost into plant/vegetable beds is the best use of compost, because this will improve the soil texture and provide a long-lasting supply of slow release nutrients. An alternative is to use the compost as a mulch.