Autumn tidying creates green and woody material for composting. You will have all the ingredients for quality garden compost next year.
Aim for a balance of between 25-50 per cent soft, green material such as vegetable kitchen waste(no oily stuff) and lawn clippings, with the remainder shredded woodier materials such as prunings and the fibrous stems of perennials. Never add kitchen leftover food, which attract ants.
Manure from herbivore pets, such as rabbits, makes a nutrient-rich addition.
Ripped up card and shredded paper are good sources of carbon, but avoid using paper printed with coloured inks.
Mix materials well: add any that has a high proportion of animal waste to woody waste; drier waste is best with soft, nitrogen-rich material.
In the winter you may find you have too much kitchen waste and not enough carbon-rich material; use shredded paperwork from time to time.
Depending on ingredients, the compost will be ready in between six months and two years. It’s ready when dark, crumbly and odourless.
Feel free to add rhubarb leaves, egg shells,tea leaves, small amounts of citrus.
Turn the heap at least once to incorporate oxygen.
Alternatively, manure can help correct a heap too rich in woody material.