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Composting made easy

If you’ve got the gardening bug, and especially if you’re thinking of growing your own veg this year, then compost will be a vital ingredient. And we’re going to tell you how you can make it yourself by making use of that overflowing household veg bin and the product of your garden spring clear out. A lot of the waste we produce at home is organic and can easily be turned into compost.

  • Clare - copywriter
  •  5min read
Composting made easy

The big benefit of composting

Compost is the most important supplement you can give your garden. It’s an easy way to add nutrients to your lawn or beds that give life back to tired soil and help your plants grow. When you make it yourself, it’s also free, easy to do, and is great for the environment too. Particularly when you’re turning household kitchen waste into something useful, instead of sending it to landfill.

Getting started

What you will need:

There are a few different ways to compost. You can either go for a compost bin, or if you’re feeling handy, build your own using some wood. If you have the space, you can also dedicate a corner of your garden space to a compost heap. Whichever you choose, you’ll probably need some of the following things. To speed up the process of composting, our wilko compost maker transforms your garden and kitchen waste into compost in as little as six weeks.

  • Composter – We have a great value compost bin available online that is durable, affordable and believe it or not, stylish! We also have a bigger, more rustic style composter. But if you’re looking for something a little less permanent, you could try a composter bag like this.
  • Compostable liners – Make composting as convenient as possible with these handy liners that not only help keep your kitchen caddy clean but are also 100% biodegradable. Designed to be thrown straight into your compost bin.
  • Gardening fork – Essential for giving your compost a good prod and of course to use on your beds and borders. From easy-grips to long handles, we’ve got a wide selection of forks to get you inspired. Our reccomended product for turning the material is our wilko carbon steel digging fork, made from tough and durable carbon steel.

What can I compost?

Stick it in

From the house:

  • vegetable peelings
  • scraps of fruit
  • salad leaves
  • old flowers
  • teabags
  • cardboard (e.g. loo roll tubes, cereal boxes etc)
  • cotton
  • wool materials

From the garden:

  • grass cuttings
  • leaves
  • twigs (break these into small pieces to aid the process)
  • old plants

Keep it out

  • doggy poop and cat litter
  • citrus fruit peelings
  • leftover meat or fish
  • diseased plants
  • perennial weeds
  • dairy products
  • oil
  • synthetic fabrics

We even have a special kit which will help speed up the process – the Wilko Compost Maker is specially formulated to help speed up the natural composting process, promoting the production of rich, crumbly compost.

Choosing the right spot for your composter

Avoid places that get extremes of temperature and moisture as the natural bacteria and fungi that are working to turn your waste into compost work best in constant conditions. Aim for light shade or shade, you might find an unused bit of shade in your garden is ideal.

It’s best to place your composter on soil as it will allow drainage and access to organisms from the soil, but if you have no choice but to sit your compost bin on a hard surface, then it’s a great idea to add a spadeful of soil to the bottom before you start.

Bins vs. heaps? Bins retain some warmth and moisture and make better compost more quickly, but even an open heap (not enclosed in a bin) will compost eventually. Any of the compost bins on the market should produce compost as long as they exclude rain, retain some warmth, allow drainage and let in air.

Get the kids involved

Have fun and educate the kids at the same time by creating a wormery. Worms are brilliant at making compost and the little people in your life will love this activity;

You will need:

  • A jar (with a lid)
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Worms
  • Black paper or card
  • Leaves or over ripe fruit

What to do:

  • Get a glass jar and put a few holes in the lid ( kids, get an adult to help with this)
  • Put a 1cm layer of sand in the bottom
  • Add a 4-5cm layer of soil
  • Repeat the sand and soil layers allowing for a 7 or 8cm of air at the top of the jar
  • Now for the part the kids will really love, get them to hunt around the garden and find some wiggly worms
  • Pop them in the jar and cover them with old leaves, over ripe fruit or even tea leaves
  • Put the lid back on and cover the jar with black paper or card, being careful not to block the air holes
  • Store the jar in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks- the garden shed is ideal
  • Open it up and see if those worms have worked their magic on the leaves and fruit!

Still not sure composting is for you?

If composting doesn’t sound like your thing, you don’t have the space for it, or maybe you need some compost sooner rather than later, fear not, there are plenty of affordable and effective ready-to-use composts available to help you get cracking with those jobs in the garden. But don’t forget you’ll need to choose the right type of compost, between loam based, peat free, specialist or multi purpose. For a great all-rounder your can’t go wrong with a peat free compost, perfectly balanced to suit both plants and seedlings.

We hope we’ve inspired you to get started on your own compost, even if it’s just to use up all that household waste. Whichever route you choose, we enjoy getting out in the garden and don’t forget, compost really will help your garden bloom.

For even more growing inspiration, shop our gardening collection over at wilko.com

We’d love to hear how you get on with your composting and if you have any great tips of your own let us know on on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.