Autumn Compost Top Ten Tips

Autumn Compost Top Ten Tips

5 years ago our council  provided a brown bin for garden waste. Shortly after they introduced a charge to have the bin emptied.  Larger branches, gnarled roots and diseased wood  now goes in this bin.
Otherwise it is situation normal

Autumn is a time for collecting large quantities of compostable material from even a small garden. There are some features of Autumn compost making that need to be given special consideration.

Heat and Speed

  • As winter approaches it is harder to get and retain heat in your Autumn compost.
  • Put a cover on top of your compost bin and if necessary insulate the sides. Hot bins rot compost better and quicker than cold bins
  • Turn your compost to get air into the heap. The aerobic effect helps generate heat.
  • Heat helps kill seeds and pathogens
  • Urine soaked straw horse bedding can help the heating process if you have a local supply

Green and Brown Waste

  • Autumn produces much more brown waste in the form of stalks, twigs and drying stems.
  • To compensate for the lack of green waste consider adding a compost activator.
  • Shred and chop the waste into small bits so there are more access points for the rotting process.
  • Add water if the shredded waste is dry or if Autumn is on the dry side.
  • The worms and rotting organisms need air water and food in sensible proportion.

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Autumn Tips

  • Avoid composting seeds they will come back to haunt you.
  • Do not add infected material like rose prunings with blackspot. I burn my problems in a special old dustbin available from amazon.
  • I have divided my large heap in to two compartments to get action in a more compact area.
  • Leaves from trees have negligible food value and rot very slowly. Other than minor quantities on the heap you are better rotting leaves down separately as leaf mould (use an aerated plastic bag).
  • Keep your compost area tidy (do as I say not as I do).
  • Grass clippings from chemically treated lawns will retain some residues so compost for twice as long or rot down separately.
  • Do not forget to mulch your perennials with well rotted compost from earlier compost heaps. My hardy Fuchsias and Roses get the best autumn compost.

Read about Compost Activators

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