Simple Guide to Composting | How to Make Compost When You're New to Composting

your garden can be as big or as little

as you want maybe it's a kitchen garden

like this or maybe you've just got a

single raised bed but I don't think you

can call it a garden unless you have

some kind of compost bin because compost

when you think about it it's basically

the food for your vegetables and it's

this which makes your vegetables grow

large and productive making your own

compost may seem like a complicated

subject so this video is actually going

to show how simple it is as a process

and what you've got to remember is

you're turning waste from your garden

from your kitchen into such a valuable

product today I'm in the new garden area

and my goal is to create a new compost

bin and one of the considerations you

have to make before you start any kind

of compost bin setup is the actual

location of the bin so what I'd

recommend is the traditional way of

having a compost bin is somewhere tucked

away in a corner of the garden now if

you are going to do it in a corner the

most important thing is to make sure

that it's a shadiest corner of the

garden because usually this is a

trickiest place to grow a wide variety

of fruit or vegetables so the first

thing is to make sure it's a shave your

spot the second thing is to make sure

it's fairly close proximity to where

you're going to get the composting

materials which I will cover later on in

this video and the third thing is

actually the height so if your garden is

on a slope you want to make sure that

the compost bin is going to be on top of

the slope because the actual compost

materials are going to be lighter than

the compost itself so when your compost

is ready you're going to use gravity to

help you take that compost back down

towards the garden rather than having to

lug it up a hill

the next consideration is to think about

what kind of compost bin you want to

make and luckily there are loads of

different designs out there now what I'm

going to be making today is a flat pack

and one of the key benefits of a flat

pack is that you can take it down and

take it to any part of the garden

whenever so I actually took this out of

one of our other Gardens today ready to

bring it up here but there are plenty of

other compost bins you can do you can do

plastic ones but I don't feel that they

look as good you just have this weird

ugly looking plastic Tower in your

garden I prefer more of a rustic look of

wood one of the things that I actually

showed in my new book legend one bed

which I'm celebrating the launch of this

week is how to make a compost bin after

some pallets so that's a really

inexpensive way but things like flat

packs these aren't really gonna cost an

arm and a leg and then going to last a

fair few years and give you a lot of

compost so it's as simple as finding it

and sliding it down


I'm gonna get another end straighten

these up so that's one puddle done and

you can just see how quickly you can put

this together and if there's anything on

the ground which is making it a bit

uneven we can always come back and

remove it because it's a really light

compost bin and hopefully you can see

just how quickly you can get a compost

bin put together I'm just ready for the

final corner post up and I've just got

the last site to do here and that might

have taken me about five minutes maybe

even less but really quickly you can see

how easy it is to make a compost bin and

I can just have a look here and look at

maybe adjusting it slightly pushing down

on the ends but in all honesty I am

really happy with that

and that's going to do the job the next

thing which you need to know is actually

knowing what to compost and I'll keep it

really simple because I think quite a

few people make it way too complicated

but there's greens and those browns and

greens actually stand for only thing

that is nitrogen rich for things like

cow manure are actually a green even

though they're brown but I think

everything that is living is kind of and

nitrogen so it's going to be a green

material but everything that's more dead

is brown and brown is full of carbon so

things like these autumnal leaves or

shredded paper newspaper cardboard

sawdust all of these are brown materials

and green materials are things like


lawn clippings or even spent brewery

grains coffee grounds or cow or horse

manure and I've actually got a

comprehensive list for you down below in

the video description so you can just

make a list of ones which you can easily

source that are really important other

green is a kind of things that you're

going to get from your garden or kitchen

waste such as vegetable scraps or old

plants so the next thing is about a

composting recipe and there seem to be

dozens of ones out there but we just

want to keep things simple and this is

gonna work so for every bucket of green

material you want two buckets of ground

so it's a very simple two to one ratio

and then all I'm gonna do to start this

off is make it layer kind of a green at

the bottom but just keep that two to one

ratio and it's going to make all the

difference so that's bucket number one

so far it's it's a one to one ratio in

volume so I'm just going to add another

bucket in and then all you need to do

after this is think of your compost bin

as a lasagna and you want to keep on

piling on the greens and browns so I

think a really good starting point is

two to three buckets of green and then

put five to six buckets of brown and

keep on building it up like a lasagna

and it's as simple as that that that is

basically all you need for composting

this method here is known as slow

composting and what this does is it's

going to take maybe 9 to 12 months for

the compost to be ready for use but if

you want to speed it up you can use more

of a hot composting method where you

actually turn the pile so you can turn

it maybe once or twice a month and this

is just going to aerate it and really

speed up the composting but in all

honesty we never really turn our compost

piles but if you are desperate or if you

need to try and get a quicker turnaround

then coming in with a fork every once or

twice a month it's gonna make a big


now even though composting is that

simple and it's very rare to run into

any problems there are two quite common

problems which could happen the first

one is that the compost process is just

way too slow and you have no idea why

it's so slow and it's may be taking over

12 months what you need to do is that

there isn't enough nitrogen so just by

mixing in a couple of buckets of maybe

coffee grounds and when you're into it

should speed it up now if you've

actually added too much nitrogen such as

loads and loads of grass clippings it

can smell quite a lot and your neighbors

might not be happy so way of masking the

smell issues just get something that is

really high in carbon for example these

shredded paper and just mask over the

top and that's going to eliminate any

smells that you have now the final thing

is let's just imagine that this compost

bin is finished I always like to do is

to kind of add a blanket or a hat or a

cup over the top so I use cardboard and

the reason why I do this is because in

Wales the weather can be quite wet and

if you have a compost pile which is just

sodden with water it's actually not

going to be very effective so what I

like to do is just put something over

the top which will repel a lot of the

water and it's just overall going to

help the composting process here I'm

just referencing the pallet compost bin

which I mentioned earlier on this video

is literally four pallets and you can

either screw them together or tie them

together but that's all you need to

really just get started creating your

own compost I just want to leave you

with three really quick ideas on how you

can get all composting materials from

your local community so the first thing

is to look at your friends family and

neighbors who live really close to you

give them a bucket or a box and tell

them to put their kitchen vegetable

scraps into that box and then you can

collect it put on the compost another

thing you can do is contact your local

cafes to leave a little box and you can

pick up things like a few cardboard

boxes or even the used coffee grounds

and the final one is to contact the

managers of your local restaurants and

pubs and even shots because they seem to

have a colossal amount of cardboard

boxes all the time and also with the

pubs and restaurants there's also an

opportunity death to get vegetable

scraps as well so that's how simple it

is to get those and loads of resources

and materials just get started it's

really hard to make a mistake and just

go for it