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Thread: Making a compost heap

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NSW Central Coast
    Posts
    5,301

    Default Making a compost heap

    Another thread has spurred me on to get this happening in my garden. But I have no idea where to start. We have no spare money so can't buy one of the commercially made ones. But I know that you can make your own. My brother has made his own with some old pallets and so did my dad when I was little, but I have no idea how or where to start. We have a huge yard so space is not an issue. I would like to know how to go about starting one? I have a general understanding of what to do- throw in the veggie and fruit peelings ect....mix in some leaf litter and maybe some newspaper and let it break down. But I also know there are some things you should avoid putting into it like onion peelings (and maybe orange peelings?)...is there anything else I need to know?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    On the other side of this screen!!!
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    11,129

    Default

    I think they're actually pretty easy. Apparently you need twice as much brown (carbon based like paper, leaves, straw, ie things that break down dry ) to green (grass clippings, fruit & veg scraps, ie things that break down wet), best to layer them so it's evenly mixed. Chuck in a handful of organic fertiliser, or some blood and bone or some seaweed solution (apparently it gets the microorganisms going a bit faster) then fork it over as often as you can stand doing it. The more turning it gets, the quicker it will break down. If it seems to wet and gluggy, then add more brown, if it seems too dry, add more scraps/liquid organic fertiliser. Keep going until you have something which is near the consistency of lovely brown soil.

    BTW I've never heard about the onion skins, we put them in, and also egg shells too. Avocado seeds and sweet corn cobs are probably the only things that don't break down at the same rate as everything else. I think the onion thing is for if you have a worm farm. The worms are fussy eaters LOL

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Busselton
    Posts
    218

    Default

    yeah you don't need top spend heaps of $$ on a fancy compost bin (although they are convenient). You can make one from scrap chicken wire (if you have any), which is really good for aeration, or just chuck it in a heap & cover it with a tarp (to keep animals out). You need to keep it moist & turn it regularly to speed up the breakdown of organic material....just use a garden fork or shovel. Orange peel does take a while to break down, but i have no probs with onion skins in there.

    I have picked both mine up at garage sales (one for $10, and a steel tumbler with a motor so it turns itself for $30), so if you keep your eye out you can get them pretty cheap.

    Anyway good luck your garden will love the compost!!!

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