The Home Composter

How to Compost

Compost safely

Your compost ingredients

Empty your compost bin

To turn or not to turn?

Worms & Wormeries

Seasonal Tips

Compost kitchen waste

Prickly prunings

Weeds and weeds

Too much grass

Leaves for Leafmould


Leaflets to download
Unwelcome Guests

Using your home made compost
Mulch compost round shrubUse compost that hasn’t completely rotted down as a mulch in the herbaceous border and round shrubs. You can use a thinner layer if you first spread card or paper on the soil and cover it with the compost. Wait until the soil has warmed up a bit, otherwise you will lock in the cold. The warmth of the sun penetrates more slowly through a thick mulch.
Also, always mulch damp soil: the rain won’t trickle through a thick layer and dry soil will remain dry under a mulch.

make the most of your compost
Spring is the time to use your compost. It will feed your growing plants and add richness and life to the soil. Compost spread in the autumn is largely wasted, as the goodness will be leached away by winter rains.

To retrieve your compost, see Emptying your bin – there are different methods, depending on the type of bin. Fresh compostables are returned to the bin. Partially rotted material can either be returned to the bin to complete the composting process, or can be spread round plants and shrubs that particularly need feeding.
The well rotted material at the bottom will have turned back into soil and can be used in different ways.
It can be used for home made compost mixes, see DIY Potting Mixes

Mulching with fine compostIf you have container grown plants, use a hand fork or trowel to add this compost to the pot. It will be an excellent ‘pick me up’. Otherwise the soil in a container will become tired and thin. This will make it hard to water effectively as water will run straight the pot. If you have enough compost to spare, add a top dressing of the less well rotted material.
We never have enough compost, but fruit and veg will grow better if compost can be dug into the soil. Potatoes, the cabbage family, leeks and onions and runner beans are particularly greedy feeders, so it pays to dig compost into the soil at or just before planting. Remember that root crops, like carrots and parsnips do not appreciate rich soil, so save it for more needy plants.

Good compost adds ‘body’ to the soil, introduces invaluable micro organisms and will
prevent the soil from become thin and gritty. In thin soil plants will dry out during the summer and will become stressed. This in turn will lead to a poor crop, if you’re growing some food plants, and will also lead to damaging pest and disease attacks which plants won’t be able to fight off. Powdery mildew, for example, thrives when a plant is dry and poorly watered. Prevent problems by composting wisely.

Home made compost contains valuable nutrients and billions of micro organisms, essential for keeping your soil alive and healthy.

Composting problem?
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