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How To Make Your Own Compost

There is an inexpensive way to turn fallen autumn leaves, lawn clippings and other organic material that has been cut into smaller pieces into valuable compost for your garden without the need to actually make a large compost heap or buy a proper composter.

All you need is:

Sturdy black plastic bags

A few handfuls of chicken manure

Garden refuse

Old newspapers

To make compost:

In a strong black plastic bag, make a first layer of garden refuse. This can be a mix of leaves, small twigs and other rough material such as the parts and stems of blown perennials and annuals that have been pruned or dug up.

Next add a thin layer of torn newspaper.

Now sprinkle over a layer (no thicker than about 1cm) of well-composted chicken manure. Chicken manure is available at most nurseries and works as a compost activator that will speed up the decomposing process.

Next should be a thin layer of fallen autumn leaves.

Repeat the layering process while gently dampening the layers with a watering can. The raw compost must not be sopping wet, but just damp. Extra water is not necessary if the organic material that you are using is already moist.

When your bag is filled to the top, tie it properly closed.

Poke a few holes in the bottom of the bag and down the one side only, to allow in some air. Turn the bag upside down and place against a wall in a corner somewhere out of sight in your garden. It will take about two months to become useable and good quality compost.

Good tip

Don’t punch holes all around the bag, but only down the base and one side that will face away from the wall, as moisture will be released from the material which is breaking down and would otherwise seep out and dirty your wall.

READ MORE: Check out our list of tips to keep your compost cooking

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The Gardener