Dawn to Dusk


The fruit flies move in

Posted in Composting by acuthbert on August 26, 2006

It’s not too often that an infestation is a cause for celebration, however the arrival of fruit flies to our humble compost bin is a good sign we’re doing something right. What is a fruit fly I hear you ask. They’re tiny little flies that hop and jump all over the place like fleas (although they are large than fleas and have wings as any fly worth it’s salt does). They’re pretty harmless but do give visitors something to worry about when they see them crawling over and around your pride and joy (and yes I do mean the compost bin). How to get rid of them? Apparently a simple layer of soil over the compost and it’ll send them on their way.

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Cheap compost bins

Posted in Composting by acuthbert on August 20, 2006

Just when you go out and spend £20 on a big shiny compost bin the council start giving them away! Well almost. For £5 you can get a compost bin and a kitchen caddy. We make do with an old ice cream tub beside the kettle. They’ll even deliver it free of charge! Come on now – no excuse, get composting.

More information at:

http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/RubbishWasteRecycling/index.asp?menuitem=what

The joy of composting

Posted in Composting by acuthbert on August 20, 2006

Yes folks composting is a joy. I know what you’re thinking – get that guy an anorak but I can honestly state that I haven’t owned an anorak since I was in primary school. So how come I get a genuine thrill from checking in on the green bin at the bottom of the garden? It’s hard to explain but that thing really is a tardis. Fill it to the top and in a week it’ll be down to 2 thirds, in two weeks it’ll be down to a half full again. This has been going on for weeks now and I literally can’t wait to take out the first pitch fork of home made compost.

Here’s my top tips for the inspiring composter:

  1. Get yourself a proper compost bin. It’ll cost you £20 but it keeps the heat in and the water and vermin out.
  2. Don’t let it get too wet. Regularly add scrunched up newspaper, egg cartons, shredded paper in between layers of vegetable matter and grass cuttings.
  3. Keep it varied. The greater the variety of stuff in the bin the less it’ll smell and the sweeter the smell (really!)
  4. Don’t let things go to waste! If you’ve just been pruning trees strip the leaves and add them to the mix (or make a leaf mulch – that’s on my todo), if someone is chucking out fruit ask if you can have it. Make sure not to waste the teabags, coffee grounds and egg shells.
  5. Keep it turned. Every so often give it a turn with a pitch fork. The bacteria like to respire aerobically, however they will respire anaerobically but it’ll smell and won’t make as great an end result.

I’ve only been composting for about 8 weeks but I’m already hooked. Has anyone got any other ideas of what we can (safely) compost?