Association of Ewell Downs Residents

Information for residents and visitors to Ewell Downs area of Surrey, UK
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 Post subject: Spring into composting
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:40 am
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A great way to get rid of your food and garden waste

http://www.ewelldownsra.org/News/Compost_flyer.pdf

With spring approaching and growing season just around the corner, now is a good time to set up a compost bin or heap. It’s the perfect way to recycle all of your garden material and in return, you will get a fabulous soil improver to dig into the soil.

Out of a total 536,000 tonnes of household waste currently produced in Surrey each year, it's estimated that around a third could be composted saving an estimated £8.7 million in reduced landfill and green waste disposal costs each year.

Get composting today – for a greener tomorrow.


Getting started
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 online to creating your own supply of natural food for your garden.

Why compost
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.


Why compost?
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!

Recipe for success

Right ingredients
Greens Browns
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 Toilet/kitchen roll tubes
Old flowers Scrunched up paper
Dead plants

Wrong ingredients
Cooked vegetables
Meat
Dairy products
Diseased plants
Dog mess or cat litter
Nappies

You can compost a wider range of materials in more specialist bins such as Green Cones and Wormeries. More information on website.

A step-by-step guide
1.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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Ready! Once your compost resembles thick, moist soil and smells very earthy, it’s ready to use.
6. 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.
7. 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.


Find out more
To find out more about how to build yourself a compost heap, or to buy a bin, starting from only £15.00 visit http://www.surreywastepartnership.org.uk or call 0844 571 4444. Keep an eye on upcoming roadshow dates to meet our team of experts and pick up a bin too.


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