What makes my compost smell?
A compost high in nitrogen with no air will become acidic. Add carbon and turn your compost.
How do I stop rodents getting into my compost bin?
Add grass clippings to increase heat and turn regularly.
What can and can’t go into a compost bin?
Don’t put in meat, bread, heavy unshredded prunings (see “What not to compost” page 6 of the Composting guide).
How long do I have to wait till I get compost?
A well maintained compost bin will produce compost in 3-4 months in summer and up to 6 months in winter. However, it can take a shorter or longer time depending on the method, what goes into the bin, time of year and regularity of turning.
Do I need to add water to my compost bin?
If you add to your compost a 50/50 mix of nitrogen, materials which are wet, and carbon materials that are dry, it will be of a crumbly consistency.
How will compost help my garden?
Compost feeds the soil, helps with water retention and encourages earthworms into your garden.
How many worms do you need to start a worm bin?
1,000 is ok, but bin takes some time to get going; 2,000 worms (500g) will get a worm bin working much more quickly and efficiently.
What food can and can’t go into a worm bin?
Worms like a diet of fruit and vegetables with 30% of their diet being carbon. (Carbon material can be provided in the form of scrunched up envelopes, handee towels, tissues, shredded paper; any paper that’s not shiney and coloured or has a plastic film coating is ok). Worms don’t like citrus, bread, meat, onions, garlic, excess kiwifruit or large amounts of grass, leaves.
What do I do if there are lots of fruit flies?
Add a decent sprinkling of lime and wait a day or two. If you stiil have flies in your bin, add more lime and carbon material (eg, paper or dried leaves).
Do I need to lime my worm bin?
A small handful of lime or gypsum once a month helps to keep the food sweet.
What do I do if I go on holiday?
Add to the bin as follows. 1 - 2 weeks, empty out your fridge of any fruit and vegetables 2 - 3 weeks, dried grass or coconut fibre from garden centre or worm grower 4+ weeks, coconut fibre block from garden centre or worm grower.
How much do I dilute the worm ‘tea’?
Worm tea is very high in nitrogen and needs to be watered down to about 1:10, or so it’s the colour of weak tea. The liquid is so rich that it can be harmful if not diluted.
What can I do with the worm casts?
Worm casts can be mixed with potting mix and seed raising mix and is the perfect medium into which to plant seedlings, plants or trees. Casts do not have to be diluted.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I know how much food waste I should use with the Compost-Zing?
An easy way is to use a 2 litre ice-cream container to place your food waste in. Use 1 - 2 tablespoons of Compost-Zing per container.
Where is the best place to keep my bucket?
Out of the direct sunlight but in a warm place e.g. hot water cupboard or laundry.
What are the signs of good fermentation?
- Juice production
- A sweet vinegar smell
- Presence of white fungal threads
How long will a bag of compost-Zing last me?
The average family uses a bag every 8 - 10 weeks
Can I use the bucket juice?
Yes, it should be drained every 2 - 3 days and used immediately. For direct soil applications, dilute with water 1:100, for foliar applications dilute 1:1000 or pour neat solutions to clean drains.
How deep to I bury my fermented waste in the garden?
Dig a shallow trench about 30cm deep. Place food waste in trench and mix in some soil. Cover over with remaining soil. You can plant over the waste after 7 - 10 days