Build a compost heap and let nature turn your waste into black gold.

Choose a shady spot in the garden and loosen the soil. Start with a foundation of coarse material at the bottom so air can circulate: twigs, stalks and hedge clippings are good. Cover with 20cm of shredded newspaper to attract earthworms, water and sprinkle with soil.

Alternate layers of wet green waste (eg. weeds, grass clippings, coffee grounds) and dry brown material (eg. straw, dry leaves), adding a thin layer of soil or manure between them. Water each layer well – add a compost activator if you want to speed up the process.

Mix lawn clippings with leaves so it doesn’t form a thick mat. Cover with cardboard or a piece of old carpet to keep the heat in. Water regularly so the microbes can do their work.

Your compost should be ready in three to four months, or sooner if you use a compost activator.

Top tips:

  1. If you’re short of space, compost bins are a neat, tidy way to make compost and make a great gift for the gardener in your life.
  2. Kitchen scraps attract rats, so rather get a worm farm to turn this waste into black gold.
  3. Use a shredder to chop up the material before adding it to the heap to speed up the process.
  4. Your compost should be ready in three to four months, or sooner if you use a compost activator.