How to make organic compost at home.

Questions with answers: making organic compost

  • What equipment do I need ? 
  • What kitchen waste can I put on a compost heap? 
  • How do I start the composting process?
  • When will  the compost be ready to use?
  • Can I put weeds on a compost pile? 
  • Will a compost heap attract rats?
  • Is compost organic.? 
  • How to make compost?

"Composting is a great way to recycle kitchen and garden waste. Even easier than trying to work out which bin to put stuff in and means less rubbish going to landfill"

how to make  organic compost
how to make organic compost

What garden and kitchen waste can be composted?

Almost anything that ever lived can be used to make compost, but not meat, fish, cat or dog muck. The important thing is to get the balance right with a mix of green and brown stuff from the lists below, this becomes easy with practice. 

  • Green waste  includes, mowed grass  and young weeds, Comfrey, Nettles, vegetable peelings, tea bags and leaves, coffee grounds, green prunings, cow and horse manure, bedding and manure from your free range chickens. 
  • Brown waste includes, Cardboard, cereal packets, egg boxes, Waste paper, junk mail, Glossy magazines, Newspaper, pet rabbit and guinea pigs bedding, Woody prunings, your old bedding plants, Wood shavings, Fallen leaves, egg shells even wool and cotton.

If the mix of waste is slimy add more from the dry (brown) list, 

if the heap is dry, hard and lumpy add more from the wet (green) list.

Turning garden and kitchen waste into compost.


What is organic compost?  It is decomposed chemical free organic matter made from garden and kitchen waste, it is rich in nutrients, dark, crumbly, smells good, feeds and condition the soil, saving money by reducing the need for fertilisers. Adding compost to the soil each season promotes soil microbes that help plant growth.

How to make compost. Composting is the natural process of recycling organic (living) material such as leaves and vegetable scraps into a rich soil amendment. Composting really is a simple process, nature does most of the work and my tips below should help get the balance right.

It is so natural and simple that if a pile of leaves or any green-stuff  that was once living was left without any human involvement at all, it would decompose and be taken down into the soil by worms. Making compost really is that simple. Putting the material in a pile generates natural heat speeding up the process.


What equipment do I need? None, you can simply pile green and brown waste from the list below forming a compost heap directly on to soil in an accessible and sunny part of your garden and cover the heap with cardboard, sacking or bin bags. But If you are a neat tidy gardener or have a small garden, ask your council for a composting bin or  make your own compost bin.


How to start composting. Simply pile a mix of kitchen, household and garden waste in a heap, and if you are not using a composter with a lid, cover with sacking or old matting to warm it up and to keep the heat in. Try to form a fair size heap, the bigger the pile the more heat it will generate and it's the heat that starts the composting process.

Check your heap or compost bin now and then, if the mix of waste looks slimy add more from the dry (Brown wastelist, if the heap is hard and lumpy add more from the wet (Green waste) list.  

The composting process


The compost will start to heat up in a few days, this means your home made compost pile is working and you can start adding more Brown and Green stuff.

After a couple of weeks turn the pile inside out, this allows oxygen in and speeds up the composting process or if you aren't feeling that energetic and can wait longer for the crumbly stuff, leave nature to get on with it.


When is the compost ready. 

If you turn the compost heap now and then and keep it covered, or the lid on if you are using a composting bin to keep it warm,  it could be ready in about 12 weeks but can take up to 10 months. 

Processing time depends on various factors, 

  • Your effort with the fork turning the composting mix over,
  • The weather, waste composts quicker in Summer weather because of the heat. 
  • The mix itself, a good damp mix composts quicker. 

But however long it takes, its well worth waiting for, but if you can't wait and its turned a dark brown earth colour, even if it is still a bit lumpy, its safe to use, just put the really lumpy twiggy stuff back on the heap.


Composting Do's and Don'ts, 

Diseased plants with club root and white rot etc. should not be composted, if you are not sure don't compost them.

 Most weeds will be killed in a good hot compost heap, but best not to add ,celandine, docks, buttercup, ground elder and bindweed, etc. to your compost heap until they have been rotted down in a tied up bin bag.

Worms and insects are essential in a compost heap, so welcome and expect them.


Will a compost heap attract rats? Rats will not be attracted by your heap, but will almost certainly be already present in the area and will visit the compost heap now and then. Dealing with rats


Home made compost is safe to handle, probably safer than the stuff sold in garden centres no added chemical fertiliser,  just take the usual precautions you would take when gardening 

Hope I haven't made it seem to difficult, it really is not. 
Your veg and fruit will be safer to eat and taste better, you will reduce demand for landfill sites and you will save money. 

You can turn most of the stuff you send to landfill into compost.   How ECO friendly is that


How to make a simple compost bin from wood.

Don't fit a bottom to the bin, keep the mixture in contact with the soil, make it big and strong enough to easily allow you to get to the compost with a fork and easily accessible to shovel out the compost from the bottom of the heapInstructions to make a composting bin.

How to make a Wormery