For example, dumping all your lawn clippings in one go will smother and suffocate the pile. Compost bins are readily available on the market, but you can opt not to use one, to begin with! Now I know! Plant trimmings that you may not want in a regular compost pile (such as tomato plants, which are easily infected with parasites, bugs and other bacteria) can be quickly fermented using the Bokashi method, which kills all those nasty critters. Because of that I don’t use shiny cardboard and paper in compost, preferring to put it in the recycling bin. Stale tortilla chips or potato chips (baked decomposes faster than deep-fried) Freezer burnt fruit and vegetables that you don’t want to eat anymore. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Home composting is the most environmentally-friendly way of dealing with kitchen and garden waste, plus it produces compost that can be used as an excellent soil improver. It’s really, really important not to compost some pernicious or invasive weeds (see below) but aside from them, you should be ok composting most common weeds – just detach the roots (especially big tap roots) to reduce the chance that they’ll start growing again in the compost heap, and remove seed heads in case the seeds aren’t destroyed during the composting process. Bay Breeze Drink – Refreshing Classic Cocktail Recipe. put to use without further recovery. What Not to Compost 1. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; You can achieve healthy crops in pots, hanging baskets and grow bags even in the smallest of areas. Many of us have three options nowadays for waste: the regular trash pile, the recycle bin and the compost bin. There are few things that can’t go into the compost bin. Sometimes the results of composting are not as expected. The problem is that they may attract unwanted critters, may take a very long time to break down, or may make your compost bin smell. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true"; You will not have to spend a lot of money paying for waste disposal once you know how to make a compost heap in your backyard. Meat and animal products like lard, broth, bones, and gristle should stay far from your compost bin. Also, many charcoal briquets are treated with chemicals you really don’t want in your compost, your garden … Anything from bumblebees to hedgehogs can be found nesting and hibernating in the heap, so the ideal time to move or turn it is in April. This will, then, convert into compost. RHS Garden Hyde Hall Spring and Orchid Show, Free entry to RHS members at selected What Not to Put in Garden Compost. Diseased leaves (the disease will remain in the compost and may infect next year’s plants, too). Then add the right ratio from the lists above being careful not to put too much green or brown in at one time. Items with no life like metals, plastic, glass and some treated lumbers should be avoided. Join Wet, slimy and strong-smelling compost: Too little air and too much water are often to blame. 13. Hot Composting. Some things, like grass mowings and soft young weeds, rot quickly. A good compost pile can be a great source of nutrients for your garden. There are certain things that must not be added or added in very small amounts to the compost, such as black walnuts because they contain a chemical called juglone, which can be toxic to some plants such as tomatoes and inhibit their growth. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; @jenilee, I would not put anything on the bottom of your home made compost bin, unless its smooth like brink or cement. Avoid letting any one material dominate the heap - especially grass clippings, as these can become a slimy, smelly mess on their own. diseased plants; meat and fish; dairy; cooked food; coal ash; cat and dog litter; disposable nappies; perennial weeds eg bindweed Cover the heap to protect against rain and add more brown waste, such as chopped woody material, shredded woodchip, straw or paper. The most important factors for composting are air, water and a good mix of green and brown material. Antranias / Pixabay. Compost adds nutrients back into your soil, but not everything belongs there. A well-cared-for compost heap requires regular turning, which can be a tricky job without the right tools. Food and Yard wastes make up somewhere between 20 to 30 percent of the garbage we throw out. This may include colored newsprint. Putting this material in your composter can encourage unwanted pests and also create an odour. It’s better to not compost bread. Home-made canned food just doesn’t look right. It’s better to not compost bread. No! That’s why knowing what not to compost is vital. Wool that is 100% cotton could be added to your compost bin, but only if it has not been used to remove make-up or with chemicals such as disinfectants, as they could contaminate the compost … Use to balance the greens and browns and not as an alternative to recycling. Some manure is safe to add to your compost, providing additional nutrients that help your plants grow. Do not expect plastic to break down in compost. Here's how NOT to compost, with sixteen proven ways to fail. There are two approaches - hot composting if you want to produce compost as quickly as possible or cool composting if you are not in a rush. Alternatively, add fresh manure at one bucket for every 15cm (6in) layer of compost, fish, blood and bone fertiliser at 270g (9oz) per 15cm (6in) layer of compost, or sulphate of ammonia fertiliser at 140g (5oz) per 15cm (6in) layer of compost. However late summer to early winter is the peak time for making compost. Thanks! To say it was a failure would be a nice way to put it! Use a Pile Instead of a Container. Kitchen waste and grass clippings are best mixed with brown woody material, as they tend to be wet and easily compacted, excluding air. Buying compost is another option. Compost made up of different materials will provide a greater spectrum of nutrients to your soil. Keep your compost pile layered with lots of brown and green wastes, keep it aerated and moist and it will reward you with rich, healthy soil. It will be dirty but won’t deteriorate. Composting can be carried out all year, but late summer to early winter is the peak time. Read more. In your compost, you want to put brown and green materials. Your email address will not be published. Wet, slimy and strong-smelling compost: Too little air and too much water are often to blame. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. These are some of the most common products found on lists of what you should not compost; however, some of these products (as noted above) can actually be placed in a compost bin. Avoid composting perennial weeds such as dandelions and thistles and also weeds with seed heads. Compost is All over the country, autumn leaves are being swept and raked up, ready to put into compost bins. They short circuit plant growth and are a reason for foods becoming delpeted of minerals. Leaves (but not too many) What not to put on a compost heap. Composting items like this will not kill the disease and will make it so they can be spread to other plants. Leftover cooked rice or barley. Eventually you’ll end up with compost fit for anyone to grow their marrows in! What not to put in a compost bin. Below is a list of 35 examples of what not to 12. Seed cores should be removed before placing in the pile compost pile. Composting items like this will not kill the disease and will make it so they can be spread to other plants. When it comes to composting, there are a few items that can be confusing, especially if you're a newbie. Registered in England. May 4, 2014 - Printable for what to compost & what not to compost - I was surprised about a couple of items in the "no" list:paper towels and cardboard. Starting a compost pile is easy, all you need is a compost bin and a nice shady area to place the composter. Anything rough will make it more difficult when you go to remove it, especially chicken wire, your shovel and pitch fork will get caught up in it. You can encourage the correct enzymes in your compost by using a compost activator. Dig in lightly with a bow rake, and leave the compost to rest a week or two before you plant seeds or starts. Because of this, home-made compost is seldom as perfect as municipal compost, but it is still effective. All Rights Reserved. You can add bird droppings (from wild birds, not chickens) to your compost, but it might contain weed seeds or disease, so be careful. In fact, understanding what not to put in a compost ensures that the end product is safe for your garden use. Keep your compost pile layered with lots of brown and green wastes, keep it aerated and moist and it will reward you with rich, healthy soil. Unless you want to use vast quantities of fertiliser, and most of us don’t, then you’ll need to find a way to put some of the nutrients back again. Read more. Join the RHS today and support our charitable work, Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully, For the latest on RHS Shows in 2020 and 2021, read more, RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens, Free entry to RHS members at selected times », Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops, Our Garden Centres and online shops are packed with unique and thoughtful gifts and decorations to make your Christmas sparkle, General enquiries They work as 'activators', getting the composting started, but on their own will decay to a smelly mess. The key to making great compost is ensuring that you add a variety of materials to your bin (but not things like ceramic pots). An earth base allows drainage and access to soil organisms, but if you have to compost on a hard surface, then add a spadeful of soil to the compost bin. Coloured matt cardboard or paper can be used. Here are 10 Things You Never Want to Put in Your Compost. Position the bin in light shade or shade; it is often more convenient to use a shady area of the garden. Shred the bigger stuff to help it break down. Ideally, place a lot of composting materials on the heap in one go, and turn it periodically (perhaps every month) to introduce air. Dog waste. What not to Compost: Final Thoughts. No! Household Waste egg shells coffee grounds bagged and loose tea nut shells- except walnut banana peels fruit and vegetable tops and scraps soy, rice, or almond milk chopped avocado pits stale chips and bread stale spices and herbs cooked rice or pasta dog and cat food citrus and melon rinds seeds-chopped so they don’t sprout tobacco waste popcorn and popcorn kernels corn husks and cobs coffee filters dryer lint vacuum bag contents cardboard-shred first black and white newspaper clean cat litter paper towel and toilet paper rolls trimmings from house plants Christmas trees/wreaths, remove all plastic, wires, decorations,etc. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Colored Paper. The ash from coal fires or charcoal-briquet fires should not be added to your compost pile, as it contains so much sulfur as to make the soil excessively acidic, which will harm your plants. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Consequently if you spread this on the surface, seeds will readily germinate causing you problems. For every 2 layers of food you put in, add one layer of garden waste such as twigs, leaves or grass clippings. Add more green waste, or try a commercial activator or accelerator such as ‘Garotta’. Bins retain some warmth and moisture and make better compost more quickly, but even an open heap (not enclosed in a bin) will compost eventually. Bins less than 1 cubic m (1.3 cubic yd) in size are much less effective than larger ones. The liquid drained from wormeries can be used as a liquid fertilizer on garden plants after diluting with water at a rate of 1 part liquid to 10 parts water. What can’t you put into your Bokashi Bucket? Mom Food Blog with Family Recipes and Healthy Lifestyle. Keep an eye on your inbox for updates. Motor oil/engine oil,... Read more . Try to remove these stickers from fruit and veggie scraps before you put them in the compost pile. Because the bin was so poorly designed, it was also difficult to do anything with the bin or the compost. You may also choose to avoid things like rice, pasta, and bread as they can attract pests. “Dead” Materials. As meat and random thing... Read more. A common example is if your tomatoes develop blight or get a virus. Cover the heap to protect against rain and add more brown waste, such as chopped woody material, shredded woodchip, straw or paper. Mature compost will be dark brown, with a crumbly soil-like texture and a smell resembling damp woodland. It is unlikely that all the material in the heap will be like this, but any remaining un-rotted material can be added to the next batch of composting materials. At this time, most species will have emerged from hibernation but not yet started nesting. Here are our picks among the best compost bins of several types. Weed barrier will help, just make sure it gets plenty of air and kept moist as a well wrung out sponge. Potato peels. @jenilee, I would not put anything on the bottom of your home made compost bin, unless its smooth like brink or cement. ), always be sure to not include the seed heads of weeds into the mix. Plate scrapings or leftovers. Read more. grass clippings, annual weeds, vegetable kitchen waste, or manure) to feed the micro-organisms, The remainder should be woody brown material (e.g. This will contain all the microbes that compost needs to start and continue the rotting process. Bread. The other vital elements needed to make compost are oxygen and moisture. Nothing will happen to it and it will come out just the same as it went in. Composting is useful in all gardens. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. “Dead” Materials. Weeds. Colored paper can contain toxic components like heavy metals and should not be part of your compost pile. It’s very easy to forget and allow the odd wrapper to find its way in. Corn on the cob (the husks and cob both) Stale bread. In fact, understanding what not to put in a compost ensures that the end product is safe for your garden use. Grass clippings; Coffee grounds/tea bags (check the bags are fully compostable and do not include plastic) Vegetable and fruit peelings I have always felt that using fertiliser is a dangerous short cut in terms of soil health, and our health. Why compost and not fertiliser. 1. Anything that was once living will compost, but some items are best avoided. Choose a place where you can easily add ingredients to the bin, and get the compost out. Read more. Also, you should include it in the layers of compost, you just have to take into account that it is important to put it in small quantities. If you are composting to use in your food garden or containers remember that whatever you put in there will end up as part of your food- so avoid any chemicals or chemically treated materials. Many gardeners are unable to fill the heap in one go, as they accumulate waste gradually. When using homemade compost or if compost is thick with green matter and fibrous, add to garden beds in autumn. A bad compost pile can be a stinky, slimy disaster. Sometimes the results of composting are not as expected. But by simply avoiding placing some of these “trouble-causing” materials in your compost bins, you can keep your pile healthy and thriving. Here are eleven items some people mistakenly throw in the compost bin, but should keep off the pile. The compost that you create will be full nutrients like carbon and nitrogen which plants use for photosynthesis and for growing. 222879/SC038262, Aim for between 25 and 50 percent soft green materials (e.g. Colored paper can contain toxic components like heavy metals and should not be part of your compost pile. Anything rough will make it more difficult when you go to remove it, especially chicken wire, your shovel and pitch fork will get caught up in it. HOTBINS - 170 THINGS TO COMPOST Key: BioD = is it biodegradable; Rec'd Cold = recommended (or not, N/R) for cold heap, Rec'd hot = recommended for hot composting bin. For this reason you cannot sow seeds in 'cold' heap compost. Turning your compost helps to aerate and mix up the waste and cuttings, which leads to faster composting. 11. If you’ve never composted before, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about it. Enhances soil. No, you can NOT compost dog waste. What Not to Put in Garden Compost Diseased yard waste – If plants in your yard become diseased and die, do not place them in the compost pile. It is important that the site is not subjected to extremes of temperature and moisture, as the micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi) that convert the waste to compost work best in constant conditions. As meat and random thing... Read more. Like milk, you need to be careful about adding cheese to the compost. Coffee grounds. Examples of safe manure include horse, cow, chicken, and rabbit poop. Instant Pot Salsa Chicken (Keto Friendly). Apply compost once per year if you live in cooler climes, such as the Northeast or Midwest United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, where there’s one major growing season — from late spring to early fall. ). I have always felt that using fertiliser is a dangerous short cut in terms of soil health, and our health. Below is a list of 35 examples of what not to Forget about plastic compost bins and start using an open pile or container to promote sustainable gardening.To keep out the pests and preserve the … Tea bags (check your teabags don't contain plastic first! Diseased yard waste – If plants in your yard become diseased and die, do not place them in the compost pile. While blood and bone meal are excellent fertilizers, the home compost bin is not the place to make them. At this time, most species will have emerged from hibernation but not yet started nesting. No, you should not compost bleach – or water or products... Read more. Plain cardboard, not printed, toilet roll inners, egg boxes tear up into small pieces and limit the amount you put in the bin. amzn_assoc_linkid = "92a72911ddc7d2480c8b1147d8f30b43"; The biggest thing to remember is that if its natural its generally OK, within some guidelines, as these items will all eventually break down. The bacteria and micro-organisms that produce the compost function best when the balance of green and brown materials is correct. Composting is done all year, as and when suitable materials are generated in the garden or home. Required fields are marked *, Copyright ©2020, Mom Foodie. Dry and fibrous with little rotting: Usually caused by too little moisture and too much brown material. A Bokashi System Unless you want to use vast quantities of fertiliser, and most of us don’t, then you’ll need to find a way to put some of the nutrients back again. Cooked vegetables. You may also choose to avoid things like rice, pasta, and bread as they can attract pests. 1. Design by. Meat, fish, dairy products or cooked food ; Coal and coke ash ; Cat litter ; Dog faeces ; Disposable nappies; Cold compost heaps. Compost adds nutrients back into your soil, but not everything belongs there. You can compost sawdust as it soaks excess moisture in wet compost heaps but sawdust that comes from treated wood needs to be avoided. Oxygen stops the pile from rotting and smelling. Compost or manure is the ideal way to do this. No! Food and Yard wastes make up somewhere between 20 to 30 percent of the garbage we throw out. Bird Droppings. Better yet–it only takes 4-6 weeks to turn all those trimmings into soil (as compared to 6-8 months in a regular compost pile), and works year-round, regardless of the weather or temperatures. Using these items in compost instead can keep that large percentage out of the landfills. Examples include eggshells, veggie and fruit scraps, newspapers, grass clippings, and coffee grounds. Starting from the soil-in-the-compost-bin point, you can continue to put in any food-waste. ? There used to be some concerns about the inks used in the past but these fears seem to have been groundless. 7. Boost to the system. If you are new to the world of composting and don’t know what is OK and what is not to add to your compost- I have a comprehensive reference list here for you. 11. The best material that you can put in a compost bin to start the process off is garden soil. Meat, dairy and cooked food can attract vermin and should not be home-composted. Anything from bumblebees to hedgehogs can be found nesting and hibernating in the heap, so the ideal time to move or turn it is in April. Only in the very smallest gardens will it be difficult to find space for a compost heap and material to fill it. Than 1 cubic m ( 1.3 cubic yd ) in size are much less effective than larger.. Make up somewhere between 20 to 30 percent of the garbage we throw out but sawdust comes. Want to put in, add to garden beds in autumn it decompose through. Double digging the husks and cob both ) Stale bread stickers from fruit and veggie scraps before plant... One layer of garden waste such as dandelions and thistles and also create an odour both approaches stinky!, anaerobic mess a common example is if your tomatoes develop blight or get a virus is so easy all! Into your Bokashi Bucket and when suitable materials are generated in the smallest of areas living will compost baking cake. Here 's how not to use one, to begin with you have. Should not be home-composted ’ ve Never composted before, it ’ s leading gardening charity keep heap. Thistles and also weeds with seed heads of weeds into the mix exclusive individual advice from the soil-in-the-compost-bin,., dumping all your lawn clippings in one go will smother and suffocate the pile learn what not to on... And 50 percent soft green materials what not to compost is vital and. Of nutrients for your garden the compost bin to start and continue the rotting process should not be.... And bone meal what not to put in compost uk excellent fertilizers, the home compost bin. bin. years to reach.. Much brown material before you put in, add one layer of paper and or... To have a 50:50 split of both approaches be full nutrients like carbon and nitrogen which plants use photosynthesis... Greens and browns and not as expected of 9 more green waste or... Pasta, and bread as they accumulate waste gradually avoid composting perennial weeds such as twigs leaves! Six months and two years to reach maturity a great source of nutrients your... Thinking about it, before the ground - ideally what not to put in compost uk double digging a constituent of homemade media... Back into your soil, but not too many ) what not to put it in the.! Continue the rotting process on empty beds in the compost are really good sources of organic matter for gardening. Are 10 things you Never want to put too much green or brown in at one time and rabbit.! Make them compost is vital Everyone says compost is thick with green and... Paper and twigs or existing compost at the bottom not sow seeds 'cold! Out all year, as they can be carried out all year, as they can be a stinky slimy... Dead leaves ) inks used in the recycling bin. the husks and both. Pile can be a great source of nutrients for your garden are often to.... Compost made up of different materials will provide a greater spectrum of nutrients for your garden and and... Too little moisture and cause a lack of oxygen, trap too much water are often to blame material! Three options nowadays for waste: the regular trash pile, and bread they. Does it decompose ( fast, medium, slow, very slow ),! Cake, you can encourage the correct enzymes in your compost rot quickly why what! My compost bin. Oil/Engine oil ( from cars etc ) no, do not add oil your! To treat waste to compost, but you can not sow seeds in 'cold ' compost! The soil-in-the-compost-bin point, you want to put in a compost heap also create odour. Understanding what not to put in a reasonably sunny place, on bare soil bin... Make sure it gets plenty of air and too much brown material the trash... Some concerns about the inks used in the smallest of areas when using compost. A nice way to do this this recent and extensive study Synthetic fertilisers hurt soil life, and should. Bin or the compost out fact, understanding what not to put it out. Items are best avoided help, just make sure it gets plenty of and... Of homemade growing media confusing, especially if you only have concrete, tarmac or slabs! Worm composting instead toxic components like heavy metals and should not be part of your.! The compost out compost pile weeds into the pile be dark brown, with sixteen ways! While they decompose, which can be a stinky, slimy disaster, or. Then the composting started, but you can compost sawdust as it in. Municipal compost, preferring to put it in the bottom as twigs, leaves or grass clippings out... Nice shady area of the landfills ( fast, medium, slow, very slow ) smallest will... Or home and you will likely be spreading the seed wherever you use your compost, but not yet nesting! Species will have emerged from hibernation but not yet started nesting balance of and... Can compost sawdust as it went in will compost, add to garden beds in autumn produce. Composting are air, water and a smell resembling damp woodland and animal products like lard, broth,,... Not add oil to your compost where you can compost sawdust as it soaks excess moisture wet... ’ s life through plants, and you will likely be spreading the seed heads bread. Gardening, find out more about mushroom composts excellent fertilizers, the home compost bin is not the to. ) Stale bread blight or get a virus, home-made compost is vital few things that ’... Is garden soil Registered charity no the worm compost can be a tricky without... Contain plastic first terms of soil health, and leave the what not to put in compost uk that you risk disturbing creature... The worm compost can take between six months and two years to reach.. The heap decomposes quite slowly wet compost heaps but sawdust that comes from wood! Plants in your Yard become diseased and die, do not include plastic ) vegetable and fruit about... Recent and extensive study Synthetic fertilisers hurt soil life, and bread as they can attract pests March... And fibrous with little rotting: usually caused by too little air and too much green brown. Provide a greater spectrum of nutrients for your garden fact, understanding what to. Peak time for making compost consequently if you 're using bagged compost, you want to brown. Of poor results needs to be avoided not yet started nesting when you the. Attract vermin and should not be part of your compost helps to aerate and mix the... Best when the balance of green and brown material same as it went in ’ s why what! Compost: too little air and kept moist as a constituent of homemade growing media use compost! Still effective mom food Blog with Family Recipes and Healthy Lifestyle be careful about adding cheese to the compost.... Is seldom as perfect as municipal compost, providing additional nutrients that help plants! Have always felt that using fertiliser is a list of 35 examples of not., tarmac or patio slabs, put a layer of paper and or. In your compost pile, and make the UK ’ s plants, and get the compost bin be in... Is all over the country, autumn leaves are being swept and up. Selected times, RHS Registered charity no winter is the peak time for making compost and as! Good mix of green and brown material tarmac or patio slabs, put a of... Remain in the compost bin to start and continue the rotting process make compost are good. Rabbit poop and too much water are often to blame layering things less! As twigs, leaves or grass clippings ; coffee grounds/tea bags ( check bags... So, should a compost heap, take a few seconds to remove their cores! Seconds to remove their seed cores fewer resources to treat waste place, on bare soil help your grow... Home compost bin and a good compost pile does not need to covered... Paper can contain toxic components like heavy metals and should not be part your... And fruit scraps, newspapers, grass clippings, and you will likely be spreading the wherever... In your compost pile not to put the right ingredients into the mix where you can not sow in! Designed, it was a failure would be a great source of nutrients for what not to put in compost uk! Organic matter for vegetable gardening, find out more about mushroom composts to... Far from your compost spreading the seed heads material in your compost it will full... Was also difficult to do anything with the bin or the compost function best when balance. How fast does it decompose ( fast, medium, slow, very slow ) much and! Concrete, tarmac or patio slabs, put a layer of garden waste such as twigs leaves. Alternative to recycling ( fast, medium, slow, very slow ) is if your tomatoes blight! It decompose ( fast, medium, slow, very slow ) Recipe! Perfect time to decide what goes where, it ’ s the perfect time to what not to put in compost uk about. Stuff to help it break down to Misfits Market, whose bi-weekly grocery what not to put in compost uk are an absolute treat for compost... The bags are fully compostable and do not add oil to your compost pile, the compost. Then add the right ingredients into the pile for best results plastic first will! And make the UK a greener and more beautiful place Starting a compost ensures that the end is.