14. Nov, 2022

Pumpkin Smash and home composting

We hold a  Pumpkin Smash on  our community composting site each year using  three sided pallet bins as they allow two people access at the same time and make it easier to  view  what is happening and the layering of the materials to provide a reasonable green:brown balance Pumpkin Smash 2022

However, it is easy to compost pumpkins using home compost bins and we  include a section on this at  http://www.carryoncomposting.com/441149742

 One of the advantages of composting pumpkins in home composting plastic bins is that it allows the pumpkin to be smashed in situ restricting the mess resulting from the smashing processs.  We add about a 2" layer of pumpkin covered by a brown layer normally autumn leaves or shredded paper and a layer of woodchip to act aa a bulking agent as the pumpkins contain a fair bit of moisture ( they may have been left outside in the rain). This year we have a lot of coffee grounds so are adding this to the woodchip layer. This is followed by another layer of pumpkin.  The photo shows our Green Johanna being used  which has a base plate and has proved to be rat proof over about ten years use. The bin has not be fully filled and  the materials will be aerated when annuall weeds are added next week.  We are also using other domestic bins. 

27. Oct, 2022

Fallen Leaves: Compost or Leafmould ?

It is the time of year when the trees donate their leaves to composters. So what can we do with them?
In the US the answer seems to be simple, compost them, while in the UK many opt for making leafmould as it is said that leaves take a long time to decompose because they are a Brown and do not contain much nitrogen. But if a nitrogen source is added they will turn into humus in a few weeks. So I add nitrogen.
One way of adding some nitrogen is to shred them by mowing them on the lawn but the amount added is limited so it is better to add greens when building the compost pile.I have a constant supply of used coffee from a couple of cafes so layer that into my bins. If you are  more  "mucky" (or traditional) you may favour one part matured manure  added to about five parts leaves (easy to estimate if layering the bin) but if comfrey leaves are   still available they, or other green garden waste, can be used, as can urine.
Leafmould is traditionally made by putting the shredded leaves in a wire cage, But now many people  use a plastic sack, stabbed with a fork and left for a year or two.
Autumn leaves can also be kept and used as a brown to be added to the bin when composting during the winter months but this is less common in the UK where the more urban composters tend to have a constant supply of cardboard and paper. However, I overwinter leaves  on the allotment both for the compos bins and the wormeries.
The photo shows mowed leaves.
27. Oct, 2022

Scaffold Board Compost Bins

Has anybody got experience of using scaffold boards to make compost bins, and how long the boards will last in use. We are looking to make about six large bins.
Pleaseemai:  l carryoncomposting1@gmail.com
19. Oct, 2022

Leicestershire, Rutland and Notts Composting Talks and Advice


I will be giving talks to the following groups during the next few months. Most welcome visitors so  if you are interested in attending lease contact the organisers .

  • 3rd November  7.30 pm Rutland Horticultural Society Methodist Church Hall, Northgate, Oakham .

          Message from:   https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064592685995

  • 16th November.  Orston Garden Club, Orston Village Hall. 

           Contact Orstongardenclub@gmail.com


I will be offering  a Compost Help Desk at Stokes Wood allotment Composting Demonstration site, 2B Stokes Drive, Leicester  LE3 9BS most Wednesday mornings.   Please check the Carry on Composting  Facebook page. Refreshments are available.

For a different composting event join our Pumpkin Smash  10.30am  – 12.30   12th November

17. Oct, 2022

Composting Wool packaging and Dog Hair

I started composting packing wool on the 24th August (see  Blog below)  and dogs hair on 21st September.  There is no evidence of the two layers of dog hair that were added to the bin. Some of the wool can still be found, mainly at the cooler edges of the bin . It would appear the actinomyces are growing on the remains  of the wool buried a little deeper in the composting material (see photo).  The bin will be turned once more and probally over wintered.  It would appear that both wool and dog hair will decompose  more quickly than the runner bean  stems which can be seen