What can I put in my compost?

Compost can made from a variety of garden and household waste products. It is best to use a mix of different ingredients:

  • Grass cuttings, poultry manures, comfrey leaves and young weeds rot quickly and are known as ‘activators’ - they start off the composting process
  • Older materials take longer to rot, and give the compost body e.g. fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags, straw, old bedding plants, rabbit and other pets’ bedding
  • Autumn leaves, tough hedge clippings, woody prunings, wood ash, sawdust and wood shavings (not treated with wood preservative) will take a long time to rot. They should be chopped or shredded into small pieces then mixed with ‘activators’ to allow rapid composting
  • Paper products can help dry out wet compost but large amounts are better off being recycled
  • Avoid composting cooked food, dairy products, meat and fish, as this will attract rats and flies to your garden
  • Don't compost coal and coke ash, cat litter, dog mess, disposable nappies or glossy magazines
  • You can find the answer to other composting problems here.

Find out the best way to make compost.

Posted in: Sustainable Gardening on 12 June 2015

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