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Home Composting

Dry Leaf

Doing your own composting is not only a guilt-free way to get rid of all that old fruit & veg in the fridge but it's really cheap and can transform your garden into a place of beauty.

So why bother with compost?

  • It makes your garden soil rich in structure - perfect for growing those award-winning plants and vegetables.

  • It reduces plant diseases in your existing soil.

  • It stops us all using peat, which is being depleted in bogs, endangering wildlife.

  • It lowers greenhouse emissions.

  • Wildlife love it.

  • It reduces the amount of waste our council has to deal with each week.

Wow, how do I start?

Firstly,  you need to get a compost bin.  You can get them from any DIY shops or garden centres for around £30.


However, we also can recommend GetComposting who have teamed up with our local authority to provide bins for less than £19 plus delivery straight to your home.  Like the one here.

So what can I put in it?

In Hampshire each year 68K - 76K tonnes of garden and food waste go into our general bins. That's about 25% food waste and 2% - 5% garden waste.

Compost bins act a bit like a slow cooking pot - you layer  brown and green ingredients and it slowly cooks them for you. The bins are black because they like some sun to help heat it all up.


It takes about 9 to 12 months to be able to start using your very own compost.  It's important that the ground beneath the bin is soil, to allow water to drain and let the wildlife in.

The Brown Ingredients

  • Autumn leaves

  • Cardboard

  • Christmas trees

  • Corn starch liners

  • Cotton wool

  • Egg boxes

  • Egg shells

  • Evergreen pruning

  • Hair!

  • Natural corks

  • Nuts

  • Paper bags

  • Privet

  • Straw

  • Sweetcorn cobs

  • Thorny pruning

  • Tomato plants

  • Used kitchen paper

  • Vacum cleaner contents

  • Wood ash

The Green Ingredients

  • Annual weeds

  • Bindweed

  • Coffee grounds

  • Cut flowers

  • Fruit peelings & pulp

  • Fruit seeds

  • Grass mowings

  • Hay

  • Hedge clippings

  • House plants

  • Leaves

  • Manure & straw

  • Nettles

  • Old bedding plants

  • Perennial weeds

  • Soft pruning

  • Tea leaves & bags

  • Vegetable peelings & Pulp

The Red Ingredients (Not to use)

  • Bones

  • Bread

  • Cans

  • Cat litter

  • Cigarette ends

  • Cling film

  • Coal ash

  • Crisp packets

  • Dairy product

  • Disposable nappies

  • Dog faeces

  • Dog food

  • Drink cartons

  • Meat and fish scraps

  • Olive oil

  • Plastic bags

  • Plastic bottles

  • Soiled tissues

Here's a really useful film from Sue to help make that perfect compost.

For heaps more useful information on composting you can head over to Hampshire County Council's brilliant Smart Living pages - which is also where we got lots of our information from too - just click here:

in the garden

Worried about your bin smelling?  Then just add some flattened cardboard, toilet rolls or scrap paper to allow air to flow through the bin and reduce those smells.

Too many little fruit flies buzzing around inside?  Don't worry - they're harmless! Just leave the lid off for half a week and beetles will fly in and leave a layer of topsoil preventing the flies hatching further.

Make sure to properly layer the bin with brown and green ingredients otherwise it might take longer to start seeing any compost.

Some great tips

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