5 things you might not know about composting

5 things you might not know about composting

There's so many reasons to start making your own compost– it can save you money on garden gear, helps you recycle your old stuff in an enviornmentally friendly way and can help your flowers bloom. And not to mention that it's super easy to do, too.

If you're wondering where to start or how you can get the most from your compost, here's some surprising suggestions you might not have heard of from the experts over at Mantis UK.

1. Composting can be fast

Hot composting is a quick alternative to the traditional method of cold composting. This usually involves a compost bin or tumbler, and can create great compost in just 14 days. Compost made this way is usually fine and usually much better than most other composts because the high temperature kills pathogens and breaks down organic materials quickly.

But hot composting really means hot.

The hot composting method can create temperatures as high as 150 °F, which is caused by decomposition of bacteria. Hot compost should have a carbon-nitrogen balance of 25 to 30 parts carbon to one part nitrogen. Materials rich in carbon are usually dry and brown coloured such as wood, sawdust, and leaves. 

2. Composting is more effective than landfill
Not sure what to do with your old banana skin? Banana peel and apple cores don’t break down when they are added to landfill as the material is too compacted, meaning it can sit in landfill for many years and not break down. But the good news is that these actually make a great nitrogen rich addition to your compost where the moisture will allow them to decompose.

3. Treating your compost to a tipple will do wonders
We're not the only ones who enjoy a sip of wine or a refreshing beer on a Saturday night. It turns out our compost bin does, too. Both beer and wine are great for spurring your compost into action, making it work at its best. You can also compost hair and nail clippings, animal hair, the contents of your vacuum cleaner bag, dead bees and flies, lint from your tumble dryer filter and your old clothes (just provided they're made of natural fibres).

4.  Grass cuttings can save money on fertiliser

After a stint on the lawn mower, don't throw your cuttings away. It's best to leave grass cuttings on the top of your lawn after mowing it, as they provide nutrients that will be reabsorbed by the soil. You can save up to whopping 25 per cent on fertilisers over the year by doing this.

5. Composting takes care of your garden

Adding compost to your soil actually helps to clean contaminated areas in your garden by absorbing odours and heavy metals in the ground that could block the soil waterway your plants rely on to thrive.

Composting also helps improve the quality of your soil and how well it retains water for the plants to drink on. It can also save your plants getting as battered from the wind and rain.

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