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FAQ's and Trouble Shooting - Composting

What can I put in the bottom of my bin before I get started?

To start off, we recommend adding plant stems and small twigs. This will help keep your compost bin ventilated, and also give good access to worms and insects.

How long will it take for me to make compost?

Usually it takes between 6 months to a year. It really does depend on the amount of time and effort you put into it though. The more time you put in, by regularly turning it, adding the right ingredients, etc, will reduce the time it takes to make it. It can be from as little as 6 weeks.

There is a nasty smell coming from my compost bin, what is it?

This can be caused by too much water being added, or too many grass clippings. To help prevent that, leave the lid off during dry weather, and remove some of the grass clippings. Also mix it up regularly.

My waste seems to be taking ages to turn into compost why is is?

It can take from 6 weeks to a year to make good compost. To speed things up, add more fast moving ingredients such as young weeds. There may not be enough heat and it maybe too dry. Position in the sunlight, and keep the lid on. Moisten and add fresh material and give it a good mix.

My compost has been attracting rodents and pests, why is this and what can I do?

There must be meats and fats that have been added to the compost. Remove them immediately as this is what attracts the furry animals! If the problem persists then contact a pest control company. Bluebottle flies are also an indicator that meat is present.

I have a lot of bees and wasps flying around my compost, why is this?

This is an indication that your compost is too dry. Add a little bit of cold water and mix it in. This should help the problem.

I have flies coming out of my bin, but they aren't bluebottle or wasps e.t.c, what are they?

These are probably fruit flies. This is a common problem with composting. They arrive when parent fruit flies lay eggs on the compostable material when in the green grocers, whilst in your kitchen or when the matter is waiting to be put in the bin. To help prevent this from happening in the future, keep the compostable matter waiting to be put into the bin covered up so that parent flies cannot lay eggs upon it. Newspaper is fine. To get rid of the flies, always ensure that fresh matter added to the bin is placed under existing composting matter, or add a layer of soil or other brown material over the top. This will prevent the fruit fly larvae from hatching. Also leave open the compost bin lid to allow fruit fly predators to enter.

Can I use fly sprays?

It isn't advisable.

What is my compost ideal for?

Your compost makes a great soil conditioner, or a past of a potting mixture for outside containers. Alternatively it can be used for mulch. It isn't recommended to use indoors.

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