Get Composting and save Westfield Common!
Surrey Waste Partnership are working on a campaign to encourage households in Woking to start home composting and educate residents about the benefits of home composting to themselves and to the environment.
They are offering composting bins for a reasonable price of £14 so it seems like a good idea and WCRA is happy to pass on the information on this initiative to residents.
Get composting this summer
Whether you’re a keen gardener or just want to choose the greenest, most natural way to deal with your food and garden waste, composting is the perfect solution.
Grass cuttings, dried leaves, twigs and vegetable peelings are just some of the ingredients that can go into a compost bin or heap to make peat-free compost – ideal to use in potting or planting in your garden or allotment.
Getting started is easy. All you need is a compost bin or a small space in the garden to create a heap. Then just follow our easy guide to creating your own supply of natural food for your garden.
Compost is a natural, nutrient-rich food product for your garden. It will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, and keep your soil’s PH balance in check while helping to suppress plant disease. It will have everything your plants need including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and will help buffer soils that are very acidic or alkaline. Compost improves your soil’s condition and your plants and flowers will love it!
Home-made compost is natural and peat-free which means it is good for the environment outside your garden too. It reduces the need to buy peat products, which have been commercially sourced and extracted from peat bogs, resulting in the release of the carbon stored in them.
Recipe for success
- Tea bags
- Dried leaves, twigs
- Coffee grounds
- Wood chippings, straw
- Vegetable peelings
- Crushed egg shells
- Salad leaves
- Vacuum bag contents
- Fruit scraps
- Cereal/egg boxes
- Grass cuttings
- Old flowers
- Dead plants
- Cooked vegetables
- Dairy products
- Diseased plants
- Dog mess or cat litter
You can compost a wider range of materials in more specialist bins such as Green Cones and Wormeries.
A step-by-step guide
- Find the right site. Site your bin or heap on bare soil. If space is limited, put your bin on concrete, tarmac or patio slabs, but make sure there’s a layer of soil or existing compost on the bottom so garden creatures can colonise.
- Add the right ingredients. Fill your kitchen caddy with the right ingredients such as tea bags, taking care not to compost cooked food, meat or fish.
- Fill it up. Empty your kitchen caddy and your garden waste into your bin or heap. A 50/50 mix of greens and browns is the perfect recipe for good compost.
- After 9-12 months. The ingredients you have put in your bin or heap should have turned into a dark brown, earthy smelling material at the bottom of the bin, which can be dug out, with the newer material being left.
- Ready! Once your compost resembles thick, moist soil and smells very earthy, it’s ready to use.
- Collect the compost. Lift the bin slightly or open the hatch at the bottom and scoop out the fresh compost with a garden fork or spade. If you have built your own, simply rake out the ready compost.
- Use it. And watch your garden bloom. Compost can be used for all types of planting needs – vegetable plants for allotments; general potting (if mixed with something like ordinary soil); or flowerbeds and enriching new borders by mixing in existing soil.
Involve your children too
Every school-aged child knows about reduce, reuse and recycle. Composting involves all these steps plus the benefit of having fun and watching your garden grow.
To find out more about how to build yourself a compost heap, or to buy a bin, starting from only £14.00 visit www.surreywastepartnership.org.uk or call 0844 571 4444. You’ll also find lots of other helpful tips and information there too.
Arrange a visit with the resident gardener at WCRA HQ to see composting in action – she has at least 3 composters on the go!