Outdoor Gardening

Top 5 Things Not to Put in Your Compost Bin

Certain things are not suitable for composting.  Including these are a sure-fire way to mess up the compost and render it useless.

Tips on what not to put into your compost bin

1. Meat & Dairy Products

Never put meat and dairy products (no matter how small the amount may be) into your compost. Food scraps with small amounts of eggs, dairy or fats and oils can be attractive to scavengers like rats. Yikes!

2. Oil

There is a school of thought that believes it is alright to add oil to compost.

However, our opinion is that the smell of fat, heavy cooking oil and greasy stuff attract vermin. So they are not part of our recommended items for composting.

3. Non-Vegetarian Animal Waste

Avoid the urge to place dog poo, cat litter, or babies’ nappies into the compost. These are definite no nos! Put them into compost and you’re guaranteed to have unwanted pests and smells. Ewww!

4. Weeds

Now, this is a tricky one. There’s honestly no right or wrong answer. Weeds can be composted, but they may come back with a vengeance in your garden if compost containing their seeds are scattered into your garden bed. Generally, the temperature needs to be high enough to kill seeds (55°C or 130°F), which may not always be achieved in a compost bin.

5. Seeds

We recommend removing seeds from vegetables before chucking them into the compost. It can be a little troublesome but will save you the hassle of future seedlings sprouting up wherever your compost scattered across your garden. Some seeds may die in the heat of the compost, but this is not always guaranteed.

Now that you know what not to put into your compost bin, check out our article on top 4 things to put into your compost bin.

Outdoor Gardening

Top 4 Things to Put into Your Compost Bin

Composting is mostly a job done by nature. Your only job is to put the right things into the compost bin to help the process along for the best results. Here are some of our suggestions of things that should go into the compost bin.

1. Worms

Worms consume a large amount of composting material in a relatively short time span, which therefore makes your composting process more efficient. In fact, worms are believed to eat their weight in scraps per day. Add red worms known as “red wigglers” as they are the best type of worms to add to compost.

2. Green Waste

Great items to put in a compost bin include vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags, plant prunings, grass cuttings, etc.. Generally, these are broken down fairly quickly and provide important nitrogen as well as moisture.

3. Brown Waste

Besides green waste, it’s a good idea to alternate green waste layers with brown waste layers. Brown waste includes things such as cardboard egg boxes, newspaper, fallen leaves, sugarcane mulch, straw, hay, etc. These take a longer time to break down but provide vital fibre and carbon. More importantly, brown waste also allows important air pockets to form in the mixture so that there is sufficient oxygen for the composting process.

4. Certain Pet Waste

Before you go all enthusiastic about putting dog poo into your compost bin, be aware that not all pet waste is suitable. Here’s a useful list of possible stuff from your pets’ waste that can be used.

  • Fur or hair from your pets’ beds or after a trim
  • Bird feathers
  • Pet droppings or manure – from rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, chickens, cows, goats or sheep
  • Pet food – bird seed, dry dog food, dry cat food or dry fish pellets.

Now that you know what to put into your compost bin, check out our article on what NOT to put into your compost bin.

Outdoor Gardening

Top 3 Reasons for Composting

Compost bins are a must-have in every garden. We can reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill and reduce your impact on the environment. At the same time, composting also helps to improve the soil quality of your garden.

1. Composting reduces carbon footprint

Composting organic food waste is one of the most effective ways to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, essentially by avoiding methane production.  

How is that so? You see, in the landfill, food scraps and green waste are covered and packed down as they decompose. This process that reduces oxygen available in the landfill, so food scraps and green waste break down anaerobically (ie. without oxygen). This eventually results in the release of methane, which is a gas that is believed to be 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. 

In our garden compost, the material decomposes in the presence of oxygen. Therefore, this prevents the production of methane during the composting process.  

2. Compost increases nutrient content in soil

When organic food waste breaks down in a compost pile, the decomposition process produces the best fertiliser for your garden. This fertiliser is practically chemical-free.

We highly recommend that you add compost to your garden beds as it enriches the soil. Compost is a slow-release nutrient source for plants. Parts of food you toss into the compost bin contain important vitamins and minerals (including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) that will be recycled into the ecosystem and taken up by your plants in the garden.

Besides improving soil structure, compost maintains moisture levels, and help to keep the pH balance of the soil in check while helping to suppress plant disease. It will help buffer soils that are very acidic or alkaline. In short, compost improves the condition of the soil – your plants will love it!

3. Compost promotes a prolific soil ecosystem

Compost can help to ward off plant diseases. Soil that is treated with compost tends to produce plants with fewer pest problems.

Due to its nutrient content, compost attracts critters and micro-organisms that are good for soil and plants. Like good bacteria in the human digestive tract, this micro-community of organisms help to control diseases and insects that might otherwise over-run untreated soil that lacks these natural checks that prevent their spread.

Before you head out to buy a compost bin, read our articles on top 3 things to put into your compost bin and what not to put into your compost bin.