4Feeding your compost
The key to good composting is as simple as: Food! Stir! Garden!
This formula is the easiest way to ensure your compost has a balanced diet and gets plenty of air through regular stirring and tossing. This helps to manage the moisture levels in your compost by balancing wet food scraps with dry garden scraps.
Keep a large container or bucket in your kitchen to collect food and drink scraps that go to waste. Empty the container into your compost bin every few days.
Keep your stirrer next to the compost and turn it every time food scraps are added. Sink your stirrer into the top 2/3 of your compost and pull it up several times, 'tossing' the food scraps and letting fresh air in.
Scatter a bucket of garden scraps or clippings across the top every time. This keeps the top of the compost neat and deters vermin. The garden scraps will be mixed through next time you turn the compost.
- Collect garden scraps and clippings and store them next to your compost so they are available when you need them.
- Use your kitchen scraps bucket to scoop garden scraps from your stockpile into your compost. This helps ensure equal quantities.
Did you know?
The method above is called 'cold' composting. It's the most convenient way to compost your food scraps regularly. The compost does generate heat but because scraps are added gradually it won't get really hot. It will take three to six months for the compost to be ready.
This is when you fill the compost bin in layers all at once and leave it to 'cook', stirring and adding water occasionally. This will create compost in six to ten weeks.
Gardeners sometimes use both methods; establishing a 'hot' compost that is filled to the top and left to cook, as well as a 'cold' compost that they add scraps to regularly.