The Perfect Compost Recipe | Living North

The Perfect Compost Recipe


From food waste and old wine to shredded newspaper and pet food, green-fingered Brits have come up with the foolproof recipe for perfect fertiliser for your garden

The gardening buffs among you will be familiar with the compost heap, but for those of you looking to get into gardening, compost is basically a collection of organic waste made up of food and plants that decomposes over several months before finally turning into ‘humus’ – an extremely nutrient-rich soil. 

A compost heap is a huge help in reducing landfill waste, and this soil can also be used as an organic fertiliser for your garden. The garden experts behind have researched the best ingredients that will make your compost heap thrive. 

‘Composting is the most environmentally-friendly way of dealing with kitchen and garden waste, and can be done all year round,’ explains a spokesperson for ‘Once you’ve found a good spot in the garden and set up an appropriate container, you can start adding a huge variety of household items – from cardboard and receipts to apple cores and dry pasta.

‘You should avoid letting any one material dominate the heap though – it’s best to mix them up. The ideal compost heap will be a combination of green and brown items – things like grass clippings, fruit and veg, hedge trimmings and leaves – combined with accelerators and activators containing high levels of nitrogen and carbon.’

Here’s their list for the perfect compost heap:

  • Greenery. Grass clippings and soft, leafy plants are essential elements for a successful compost heap, as well hedge trimmings and twigs.
  • Shredded newspaper. Glossy magazines don’t make for good compost, but thin printed paper is perfect for the pile. You can help it break down faster by shredding it first.
  • Food waste. Fruit, vegetables, peelings, bread, cereal, coffee grounds and filters can all be broken down on the compost heap and will reduce the amount of general waste your household produces.
  • Paper towels. You can put used paper towels in the compost bin – but only if they’ve been used to mop up food spillages. If they’ve been used with any type of chemical, it’s best to put them straight in the bin, to avoid any possible contamination.
  • Wine and beer. If an opened bottle of wine has gone past its best or your beer has gone flat, just pour it onto the pile.
  • Hair and nail clippings. Both human and pet hair and nail clippings can be used, as long as they’re free from nail polish.
  • Dry pet food. If an old bag of cat or dog food has gone hopelessly stale, it will make a great addition to your compost pile. 
Published in: January 2020

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