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The 4 Essential Requirements
of a Healthy Heap

Like any living thing your compost bin needs Food, Moisture, Warmth and Air. It is a living system and if you don't look after the bugs that help make compost, they can't do the job.

The source of Food comes from the materials that you put into your compost bin. Like us a compost bin needs a balanced diet with a wide range of different ingredients including GREEN materials rich in Nitrogen and BROWN materials rich in Carbon.

Warmth is provided by the sun and during hot weather the composting process speeds up. In the Hebrides composting can take two to three years to properly rot down, where as in some areas of Africa it can take two to three months provided there is enough moisture. Clearly the weather in Lancashire is out of our control, however if you can position your compost bin in a sunny position it will compost faster than if it is placed in the shade.

Moisture in a compost bin comes from the soft sappy materials that tend to be GREEN in colour and include grass cuttings, weeds, fruit and vegetable peelings. However on their own these ingredients will rot down in to a slimy, smelly mush; they need the addition of materials that provide air pockets mixed in with them.

Air is provided by ingredients that have structure; they tend to be BROWN in colour and include hedge trimmings and other woody waste plus paper and cardboard. If you didn't have any GREENS mixed in with your BROWNS, the BROWNS would take much longer to compost.

It is therefore important to have a good mixture of ingredients. Remember to mix them up before they go in the bin then you don't need to worry about turning your heap as often.

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      © HDRA Consultants     Page updated December 1, 2023