How to Compost Fish Without Odor
Compost Magazine
by Compo
10M ago
Fish definitely presents a challenge for the keen composter.  It’s something I’ve become well aware of, as when I am not gardening or composting I am often out fishing, either on the salt marshes by my house or on the small boat I have a half share in.  I personally find fishing a great way to provide food to go along with the vegetables from my garden – at the same time avoiding the harms caused by nets used by commercial fishermen and the damage caused by the use of antibiotics in fish farmed on the sea. However, I typically fish on a weekend, which causes a problem, as our rubbis ..read more
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The Dirt on Whether Electric Composters Are Worth It
Compost Magazine
by Compo
11M ago
Imagine having a simple kitchen bin in your kitchen.  You throw your waste in it, and compost comes out the other side – without you having to do anything in between!  Sounds too good to be true, right?  Many electric composters have promised this but haven’t always lived up to the hype.  These bins rightly attracted the ire of many composters, as their ability to market themselves didn’t always live up to their promises.  Recently, though, some modern bins are actually producing compost.  Does that mean they’re worth it? Well, maybe. I’ve been trialling an e ..read more
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Kitchen Composting: A Complete Beginner’s Guide
Compost Magazine
by Compo
1y ago
So, you want to compost in your kitchen? The good news is that there are many different options for doing so! In fact, I face a daily choice of how to get rid of my kitchen waste – do I put in my compost bin, feed it to my worms or put it in the electric composter I am trialing? To help you choose, I want to outline some of the options available to you, how to use each one and the pros and cons of each option.  But first, let’s explore why you might want to start kitchen composting in the first place! The benefits of kitchen waste composting Depending on the system you use, composting in ..read more
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Cockroach Composting: Turning Trash into ‘Frass’
Compost Magazine
by Compo
1y ago
India, 2023. A small bin stands in a lab, filled with organic waste.  But this is no ordinary compost bin. The compost is moving and shifting. Along the top crawl insects.  Cockroaches.  Welcome to the world of blatticomposting – a form of composting that could help deal with the mountain of organic waste countries like India are producing.  With the help of cockroach composting researcher Reddi Gowrisankar, who has made blatticomposting the focus of his PHD thesis, let’s explore the process of blatticomposting. What is blatticomposting? Blatticomposting is the process of t ..read more
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Lime Increases Compost Speed and Maturity Finds Study
Compost Magazine
by Compo
1y ago
Back in the 19th century, Albert Howard, considered one of the fathers of composting, was a big fan of adding lime to compost.  In recent decades, though, the practice has been discouraged by many composters who see it as unnecessary.  After all, lime is alkaline. While compost goes through some major pH swings, it usually ends up with a fairly neutral or slightly alkaline pH. Now a new study by Chinese researchers has found that adding lime along with a fertilizer (calcium magnesium phosphate*) could have some major benefits for composting. The researchers tested adding lime varying ..read more
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Compost Leachate: Valuable Fertilizer or Potential Hazard?
Compost Magazine
by Compo
1y ago
“The problem we found with our manure bin,” my colleague, Matt, said, “is a dark brown material liquid out of the holes and staining the floor.” We were discussing using homemade compost bins to heat polytunnels in winter. My colleague had successfully heated his polytunnel over the winter with manure and some garbage bin composters. But the drawback was a liquid spilling all over the floor! That liquid is called leachate.  What is leachate? Leachate is simply the liquid that escapes from your compost. (At least sometimes. In the photo below, I placed a bowl to catch leachate under a bin ..read more
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Manure v. Compost: Learn the Difference!
Compost Magazine
by Compo
1y ago
Did you know that the US and EU each produce a whopping 1.4 billion tonnes of manure a year? * In short, that’s an extraordinary amount of organic material that, if used correctly, can enrich our soils and nourish our plants in extraordinary ways.  There’s so much around that it’s often free (if you collect it) or very cheap (if you have it delivered). At the same time, there are risks to using manure (which we’ll come to later in this article). However, people often get confused about the difference between compost and manure.  That’s understandable, as there is considerable overlap ..read more
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The Garden’s Barista? Worms’ Impact On Coffee Grounds
Compost Magazine
by Compo
1y ago
Have you ever noticed all the gardening tips that flood tabloids at the start of the gardening seasoning? You know the sort of thing –  “This one tip will supercharge your plants says expert” and the like.  One that made the rounds this year was the use of coffee grounds, with ‘experts’ advising us to add them directly to our pots, vegetable beds, and flower beds. However, this also prompted a response from other experts, warning that the coffee grounds could harm plants.  One botanist, James Wong, even conducted his own experiment, dividing his beds into two and applying the co ..read more
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Compost Activators: Do They Work? (Plus 6 Free Alternatives You Can Use)
Compost Magazine
by Compo
1y ago
Got a slow compost heap? Then you might well be on the lookout for a compost accelerator or activater. I get it – as a compost nerd, I’m always keen to speed up my own compost.  As a result, I’ve spent years researching different ways to activate the compost and trying out (mostly free!) activators. So before you bounce out like an overexcited bunny and spend your hard-earned cash, let’s consider: What types of compost accelerators are there?  Do they work?  If so, when do they work, and which ones should you use? What free alternatives are there to commercial activators? What ..read more
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Compost Maturity Matters: Why Fresh Isn’t Always Best
Compost Magazine
by Compo
1y ago
Would you ever use fresh compost in the garden? One friend of mine did, and used to wax lyrical about the benefit of free municipal compost.  “It’s still hot, James – it warms the soil in the spring!” Much as I loved him, he was completely wrong in this case! Fresh compost can be high in salts and substances that can harm the plants in your ground.  One problem is that many guides talk about being able to make compost in a few weeks without mentioning that the compost is completely unsuitable for use at the end of that period.  Instead, it requires a period of curing and maturin ..read more
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