Composting Events and news

30. Sep, 2022
We are still receiving pumpkin plants for composting from those who are pulling them up or cutting back leaves but looking at the site most are still to come. Last week saw an increase in runner bean plants being dropped off in the Reception bin. While these are a welcome source of greens they are very time consuming when they have to be untangled and cut into manageable lengths. Just removing them from the Reception bin involves cutting the bundles free from the tangled mass while each fork full needs cutting once on the pile so that it can be easily turned during composting.
I have also received my first batch of windfall apples. These need cutting or smashing with a hammer to speed composting. Cutting and sorting the runners took so long that no bins got turned this week but I have got two empty ready for the Pumpkin Smash in November.
If you are following the blogs the dog hair is now under and mixed with the bean layer in the photo.
30. Sep, 2022

Please do not add your pumpkin lanterns to the sixteen million sent to waste  after Halloween  send, or bring, them to our Pumpkin Smash so that it can be composted and used to improve the soil. Last year we had over two hundred smashed, composted and  used as a soil improver to help grow food on the allotments.

 If you have contacts at a community group, school or allotment please consider acting as a collection point, and arrange for us to collect them, or   bring them  to our allotment composting site.

The   Pumpkin Smash will be held at  Stokes Wood Allotment Registered Composting site 2b Stokes Drive, Leicester on 12th  November.  Parties from schools, clubs and community groups are welcome to bring their pumpkins and film their Smash on the day or on other days by appointment. Last year we had about 240 pumpkins and a school smash has been filmed for TV

21. Sep, 2022

In a recent series  of blogs, I have been starting to look at the composting of wool and am currently following the progress of some packing wool as it decomposes in the bin.

 Today I would like to look at the composting of dog hair.  If you have a breed of dog that sheds its coat generously throughout the year you are likely to have a significant  amount after grooming and as tumbleweed about the house.  Hair is a good green being high in nitrogen but is slow to compost. It is best added to the bin in small amounts and  mixed with other greens. The photo shows two days’ worth of hair from my two  Clumber spaniels and this will be covered with runner bean plants that have be pulled from the garden at the end of their season.  This will be watered and then turned in a couple of days when the material has reached 40-600C . It will then be turned whenever the temperature starts to fall for the next month. More on the runner beans in the next blog in the Composting Year series to follow shortly. Previous entries on wool at

17. Sep, 2022

I started composting wool packaging on 24th August  and today (17th September) I turned the bin contents again as the bin had cooled down during the week I have been on holiday. Photos are given in earlier blogs and in more detail on the main website Composting Wool.  There has been little change in the wool although the rest of the bin contents are decomposing nicely.  The time scale for home composting wool is from 3 months to over a year so I was not expecting any significant changes in the appearance of the wool at this stage  but I am hoping turning the bin wil get the temperature back above 40C. Depending on progress this batch of compost will either be release  in October as a multch or left to mature over winter 

If you are not reading this on the carryoncomposting blog more information is available at wool.

5. Sep, 2022

The charity Hubbub  estimate that 14.4 million pumpkins are expected to be left uneaten after Halloween  and just under half are discarded as  waste. Even when the flesh of carved pumpkins is eaten the "lanterns" will be thrown away with many going to landfill.  Help Rescue  the lanterns so that they can be   composted to benefit the soil and climate. 

This year's pumpkin Halloween Smash, at Stokes Wood Allotments, Leicester will be on 12 November. Weekday Smashing sessions can be offered for schools  Go to the main webpage Pumpkin Smash 2022

As usual we will be asking schools, pubs, clubs, and individuals to donate their carved pumpkins to be composted rather than send them to landfill. Last year we had over 200 donated. Please help us this year. Local schools and individuals will be invited to attend the event and join in the smashing of the pumpkins and starting the composting process.

If you are based in Leicestershire and would be prepared to act as a collection point, please contact us. If you have a community composting site, please consider organising your own collection. More details from