The really important thing with composting is mixing the ‘greens’ and the ‘browns’. Too many grass cuttings all at once will end up as a slimy mess. They need to be mixed with layers of ‘brown’ materials like plain paper and cardboard, preferably shredded, torn up or crumpled, to get lots of air in.
The best compost is made with a good mixture of materials. As well as grass cuttings we need all kinds of garden waste – weeds, small prunings, leaves, old plants. Also raw vegetable and kitchen waste – peelings, tea leaves, coffee grounds and eggshells, for example. These should all be layered with newspaper, brown paper, plain cardboard ( loo roll tubes are good).
Layers of the Compost: Kitchen waste / Garden waste / Paper waste
To help the composting process along please always add your garden & vegetable waste along with a layer of crumpled / shredded paper or cardboard. The image above shows the layers.
The other important thing with composting on this scale is the turning and mixing to keep it all aerated and active, and hot! Our CE workers have been turning the compost from one bin to the next every two weeks as they are adding the new grass cuttings, and layering it all with more paper and cardboard. This will be speeding up the composting process even more. You will notice that the material in the bins gets quite hot and reduces in quantity very fast.
We can continue adding materials and turning the compost throughout the year, but once the growing season comes to an end and the weather turns cold the composting process will slow right down. At some point it will be best to turn all compost into just one bin and let it sit for the winter. We hope that by spring we will have good quality compost, full of earthworms (themselves helping to process the compost further), which can be used directly in the garden. Only time and experience will tell us when it is ready to use.
Some of the finished compost can then be used to ‘activate’ the next batch, ready for the new growing season.
Guidelines for Residents →