The Garden Bin Composter Frequently
Why compost? Composting
garden and household organic waste is one of the most environmentally
beneficial activities you can participate in, it reduces pollution, cuts
down on landfill and saves money. 30% of domestic rubbish is organic
waste, it's removal from bins allows other materials to be recycled,
making composting the starting point of all good “urbanwaste” systems.
What is compost?
No. Peat is harvested from peat bogs formed by the decomposition of
plant materials over a long period of time. Peat is a limited resource
material that is non-renewable and used mainly by the nursery industry
as a soil-less potting medium.
it a mulch?
No and Yes. Mulch is versatile, and can be used as an inorganic or
organic ground cover. Mulch can be made from pebbles, straw, shredded
paper, bark, wood-chips, plastic, etc., which can be helpful in
retaining moisture. Compost can be used as high-quality mulch,
especially around new transplants. Compost is biologically active and
contains nutrients, which add to the benefits of using it as a mulch.
compost a chemical fertilizer?
No. Commercial fertilizers do not contain any organic matter and are
composed of specific proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium
(sometimes other nutrients) that are soluble and readily available to
compost a soil?
No. Soil is the foremost layer of the earth, and is composed of various
proportions of sand, silt, clay, and small amounts of organic material.
Rich soil containing compost typically outperforms other soil types.
Compost is? A mature compost is
a stable humus material created by the decomposition of organic material
in a controlled environment. Controlling temperature, moisture and
oxygen to achieve quick decomposition and allowing the finished material
to fully stabilize or mature through a curing period, the finished
compost will not overheat during use or give off unpleasant odors.
How long does it take
to complete the composting process? A number of factors
effect the decomposing process, include temperature, moisture, oxygen,
particle size, carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and the efficiency of
ventilation ie: aeration. An immature compost can be produced as quickly
as four weeks with hot batch composting, while a mature compost may take
twelve weeks to complete.
can I compost?
Almost anything organic (that's to say once lived). Left over vegetable
scraps, fruit and vegetable peelings, will compost aerobically but are
better feed to worms for a quicker turn over and therefore less chance of
unwanted visitors. Human and pet waste, oils, fats, dairy products, meat
fish and bone all require special treatment and should not enter domestic
a urban compost bin. That leaves just about everything else that's not
plastic, metal or glass. Have a look at the compostable materials guide for a more comprehensive list of suitable materials.
Why the slots around
the base and under lid of the Garden bin? The Garden Bin
Composter has air slots under the lid and base. These form a
unique ventilation system enabling the air to enter through the base
rise up due to convection, the chimney effect of warm air rising and
exhausting out through the vents. So long as the composting ingredients
have a bulking agent like, chipped wood or shredded cardboard to provide
voids throughout the mix, adequate aeration will take place.
often should I turn my compost pile? We
recommend aeration is achieved by adequate ventilation. A good mix
including wood chip to create voids for air passage. The Garden Bin
Composter with aeration base enables an up flow of air with convection
and the use of a pile aerator to create extra air channels. We do not
recommend pile turning as this is hard back braking work often failing to
sustain any increase in aeration.
Garden Bin Composters do I need? You
can operate a three bin system if you require, we advocate the storage
of pre-composting materials in other types of containers, such as our
Flexi-tubs and Big bag containers, the hot batch
composting in a single Garden Bin Composter and the finishing off completed
outside of a container. If you are a hard and fast compost pile turner,
then two bins will do the job.
I shred my waste first? Shredding
the raw carbon materials produces several beneficial results, the
ingredients become more susceptible to beneficial bacteria in the pile
because a greater surface area is exposed. Moreover, a piece of solid
wood or tightly packed clump of leaves packed together will take much
longer to compost than small particles of materials. Shredding the
material makes it more homogenous, produces better aeration and controls
moisture. Shredded ingredients heat up more uniformly and produce a more
manageable end product. As a rule there’s no need to shred nitrogen
rich green materials, as these will normally have a high moisture
content and will breakdown very quickly.
No ideal particle size, but around 1 to 2 inches of irregular shapes is
best. In some cases such as in grass clippings, the raw material may be
too dense to permit adequate air flow. A common solution to this problem
is to add a bulking agent (straw, dry leaves, paper, cardboard) to allow
for proper air flow. Mixing
materials of different sizes and textures helps to keep the compost pile
the composting material? As
the composting process takes place the materials inside the compost bin
will dramatically reduce and compact under its own weight, this will
slow down the rate of decomposition reducing the piles temperature.
Loosening the composts structure with the effective use of a compost
aeration tool, will open up the marital to re-ventilate and the pile
will heat up again.
kind of paper and card can be composted? Large
amounts of newspaper and cardboard should enter the well developed
recycling markets along with Glossy, shinny magazines. There’s lots of
paper and card that isn't suitable for recycling that ends up in your
waste system and could be composted. These include office, computer
paper, old envelopes (remove the plastic window and sticky strips
first), ripped up cereal packets, toilet roll cylinders, cardboard egg
boxes and tissue paper. Avoid frozen food packaging and cartons used to
hold liquids, as these are often bi-material, lined with a thin film of
plastic or foil. These urban waste need to be shredded to accelerate
their decomposition and avoid clumping together and restricting
ventilation of the pile.
is moisture so critical to compost? An
efficient Composter needs to have a moisture content of around 60%
(feels like a wet sponge) If the moisture content falls much below 40%,
many of the micro -organisms will cease to function, under-watering is
the single most common factor effecting slow composting. Moisture
content above 70% may cause the pile to go anaerobic, thereby producing
foul odors, over-watering is the number one cause of this. Remember when
the composting materials are squeezed, just a few drop of water should
come out. If your worried about your judgment a low cost soil moisture
indicator can be used.
compost bin is infested with lots of little flies, how can I get rid of
tiny flies are fruit flies, they help break down the fruit and vegetable
material in your bin and are a harmless part of composting. To help
reduce their numbers, make sure that you bury any fruit and vegetable
scraps deep under other garden material in the compost bin. Don’t be
tempted to use fly spray as this will kill off other useful creatures in
do I need to cure the finished compost? In
the curing process the compost is aging like a fine wine outside of the
composting bin. During this period, the compost is chemically changing
to a more stable compound. Fresh hot compost out of the bin is
thoroughly decomposed but has a degree of phytotoxicity (toxic to
plants), because the compounds are very "raw" and have just
been active. As the compost cures micro-organisms continue to convert
the organic materials and acids into forms that are not harmful to
plants. Curing is not necessary if the compost is to be used directly as
a thin mulch (around trees or shrubs) not being directly in contact with
plant roots. During the curing process the ratio of carbon-to-nitrogen
comes into balance as does the pH that shifts to neutral. Curing will
further the decomposition of resistant compounds, organic acids and
large particles of material and increase the concentration of humus. The
overall quality of the compost an its uses will be greatly improved by a
thorough curing process.
compost is wet and smelly? If your compost starts to smell bad chances are it's too wet.
Excess water fills the voids between the materials, impeding diffusion of
oxygen through the compost and leading to anaerobic conditions Mixing
in additional bulking agent such as dry wood chips, cardboard pieces, or
newspaper strips is likely to alleviate the problem.
Do I need to protect
myself when handling compost? Not
unless you are composting manure, but good gardening practices of wearing
protective gloves and washing hand after use is sensible..
Can I empty my vacuum
cleaner into the compost bin? Yes
you can, but the vacuum dust tends to be very dry and difficult to
rehydrate so make sure you add water in if needs be. Most household dust
consists of skin particles which will readily decompose. However, the
synthetic fibers found in most modern carpets will not decompose and will
be present in the finished compost.
Can I put worms
from my garden into the Garden Bin Composter?
worms and other beneficial invertebrates will enter the Compost Bin
naturally through its special base. Special composting worms, as used in
the Can-of-Worms wormery, can be added but these need to be removed form
the finished product.
compost is infested with woodlice? This
is ok, but it can indicate the heap is too dry, give it a good mix, and
add water if needed.
sieve compost? Sieving
compost removes clumps of matter that have not completely decomposed and
partials over a set size, often removing undesirables such as plastics
that have entered the compost bin. If you intend to apply compost to your
lawn its recommend you sieve/screen the compost, making it finer easier to
spread, rake and water it into the grass.
What will I need
to replace in the future? As
the bin has few moving parts and is constructed from
robust materials it is unlikely that any parts will ware and need replacement.
if the compost pile smells?
A well constructed compost pile should not produce unpleasant odors.
However, if it emits an ammonia odor, the problem might be too much
nitrogen rich material, if it emits a rotten egg odor it might be too
Does it matter
where I keep my Garden Bin composter? Try
and locate the bin to maximize the radiant heat it will receive. Keep it
close enough of easy access for filling and on well drained soil.
Why is the Garden Bin Composter only available in black? The
bin is designed to capture and retain an much radiant heat as possible and black
is the best colour for this.
I need to use a temperature gauge? Strictly
just to produce compost No! But be careful the compost can and should
reach temperatures upwards of 70oC-1600F, enough to
leave a nasty superficial burn on your skin. If you want a serious record
of your composting or an accrete indicator of what’s happening in the center
of your pile then you need a long compost temperature gauge. Very hot conditions can dry out
the contents, which should be kept moist.
What happens if
the Bin freezes? The
process of decomposition will slow down or even stops with freezing and
restart again on thawing out, it's believed that this can even aid
I compost weeds? Yes,
put annual weeds into the pile before they go to seed. Perennial weeds
such as docks, dandelions, couch grass and bindweed, compost only the
foliage or else you will find them growing in the compost bin or you could
contain these types of weeds in black bags, devoid of light and air they
will die after a few weeks and can then be safely added to the compost
How do I use the
compost? The compost is a pure organic
fertilizer with a neutral pH level. It is a ideal mulch around the base of
trees and shrubs and can be dug in to enrich soil, particularly for