T: 01462 341163

Customer Service FAQs

You can read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below to find out more about ordering, deliveries, bokashi buckets and lots more.

For example if you want to learn all about Bokashi Composting, you can tick/select the relevant Customer Service Filter Option box in this case you would select “Bokashi FAQs” and you will be presented with questions about this topic only rather than all of our frequently asked questions at once!

If you still can’t find what you’re looking for you can speak to our Customer Services team on 01462 341163.

Bokashi Frequently Asked Questions

I've found the products that I want to order on the website, so how do I order them?

Every product has an ‘Add To Basket’ option when it’s in stock and you can build your order by adding the product(s) you want to your basket and then proceeding to the checkout when you’re ready.

When will my order be delivered?

Wherever possible, we aim to dispatch orders within 3-7 working days although delivery times can vary depending on which products you have ordered. Some larger products requiring special courier services can take 7-10 working days to be delivered. When you place an order, we will advise you on the expected delivery times.

How much are the UK delivery charges?

Delivery to most of the UK mainland on all products costs £5.99. Deliveries to the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands cost more. Overseas orders will incur a delivery charge which will vary depending on the location and what you’ve ordered. If in doubt, please feel free to contact us before placing your order.

Do you do international deliveries?

Yes, we do. We deliver overseas as well as the Scottish Highlands, Channel Islands and Ireland. Extra charges for delivery will be incurred, but to find out the correct cost please contact our customer service advisors on 01462 341163. Please note that some products cannot be shipped abroad due to size and weight restrictions.

How do I apply a promo code or voucher code to my order?

Voucher Codes (also known as promotional codes / discount codes / coupon codes) can only be applied on the basket page.

The basket page can be accessed via the mini-basket towards to the top right of the screen by clicking on ‘View Basket’. You will need to enter your voucher code into the space that says ‘Place Your Discount Code Here’ which is located in the middle grey box towards the bottom of the screen. You must then click ‘Update’.

Do you take other online payment methods and cards such as Paypal and Amex?

We accept all major debit and credit cards including Amex for online and telephone orders. You can also use PayPal Express and Amazon Pay to make an online purchase.

Are there other ways to pay, other than online?

Yes. You can call us on 01462 341163, where one of our customer service team members will take your order and process the payment.

What information do I need to provide when making an online payment?

Once you have added the goods to your basket and checked out to purchase the items, you will reach the payment section. Here you will be asked to enter the following key details so the transaction can be made:

  • Name – First and Last.
  • Address – Town, City, County and Postcode.
  • Contact Number – This is needed if we need to discuss any aspects of your order.
  • Email address – we email you your invoice Card Number (long card number across the front of the card).
  • Card Number and Dates – Valid from and Expiry, Issue Number, Security Code.
My payment keeps failing to go through? What do I do?

Don’t panic if your payment doesn’t go through online. You can still order your products by speaking to one our customer service team members on 01462 341163 and they’ll be able to take your details over the phone. The previous failed transactions you have made will be void, so you won’t be charged for your attempts.

When will the payment be taken out of my bank account?

When you place your order and make payment, the funds will be deducted from your bank account. If there is a problem with your order, for example, an item is out of stock or delivery will take longer than expected, then one of our customer service advisors will contact you via telephone or email to confirm that you still wish to proceed.

Are my payment details stored?

We do not store any of your card or payment details. Online payments made on Bokashi Direct are processed using Sage Pay which is a commonly used and highly secure payment gateway service. Please see the privacy and security terms for more information. If you re-order, you will need to enter your payment details again as we do not store any of your payment information.

How do I check the progress of my order?

If you are a registered customer, you can login to review your order online. If you are not a registered customer, please email our team on cs@gm8group.com with your name and order number and they will be able to check your progress for you. The couriers we use, such as DPD, also provide tracking numbers and should make contact with you with the details.

What if I'm struggling to find the product I'm looking for?

If you’re looking for a specific product, try using the Search box at the top of the page or searching by category. Otherwise, you can call our customer service team on 01462 341163 and they’ll be happy to help.

What if I need some product help or guidance before I place my order?

Our Product Guides and Installation Guides are very helpful, but if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, and/or would prefer to speak to us, then please get in contact. Give us a call on 01462 341163 and one of our team will be able to provide guidance.

What if I need some help using the website?

Contact our customer service team on 01462 341163 and they’ll be able to help you.

If an item is out of stock, can I still order the product?

Yes, you can. Simply give us a call on 01462 341163 and one of our customer service team members will be able to provide guidance on when the product will be back in stock and how long the goods will take to be delivered.

Can I change the delivery address?

This depends on whether or not your order has already been dispatched. Please email us along with your order number and information and we’ll see what we can do or call our customer service team on 01462 341163Contact us here.

What if I haven't received my order within the stated time frame?

If you haven’t received your order within the stated time frame, please email or call us on 01462 341163, stating your name and order number and we will endeavour to resolve this as quickly as possible.

What if I’m missing a few parts or items of my order?

If you have ordered in bulk or ordered a package and are missing a few parts, please contact us straight away on 01462 341163 and speak to one of our customer service advisors who will look into your query.

I received my order, but some of my items are damaged. What do I do?

In the event of a damage, the best thing to do is to contact our customer service number on 01462 341163 and one of advisors will be able to help.

Will I get a receipt with my delivery?

When you order an item from our online store, you should receive an receipt/invoice from our team via email.

I’m unhappy with the order I received. How do I get a refund?

If you are unhappy with your order, you are entitled to a full refund if you return the items, unused and in the original packaging within 30 days of purchase. To request a refund please email us along with your order details. Carriage charges are not refundable. If goods are to be returned via post, we advise you obtain a postal receipt or send the goods back via recorded delivery or courier.

How do I cancel an order?

Cancellations must be made within 7 days of making your purchase. To cancel an order simply email the order confirmation email to us on cs@gm8group.com with a reason why you wish to cancel the order and one of our team will attend to the matter for you. Please refer to our returns and exchange policy for further info.

Can I get a refund on a 'bespoke' product?

‘Bespoke’ items are normally non-refundable, but we might be offer a partial refund at the company’s discretion.

How do I go about returning an item I no longer want?

This will depend on the item. If it’s an item to be transported by courier, contact us and we can arrange a collection. But if the item is to go by post, then we would ask you to post this yourself. Please note that we cannot refund delivery charges and some items will also incur additional collection or carriage fees.

Can I sign up to the newsletter?

There are two ways to sign up for our newsletter. You can simply click this link and follow the instructions to sign up or by filling out the boxes at the bottom of the page.

I am interested in becoming a reseller of your products? What do I need to do?

We are always keen to hear from interested resellers. Contact us here.

What is a Bokashi Bucket?

A Bokashi Bucket is a specially designed container which allows for Bokashi kitchen composting of your food waste including meat, fish and even small bones when used with Bokashi Bran.

For more information check out our instructions guide here.

What is Bokashi Bran?

Bokashi Bran is a wheat bran base which has been enriched with molasses and active effective micro-organisms (EMs). When used with a Bokashi Bucket, it is used to ferment food waste making it safe for further composting. Bokashi Bran is also used to feed chickens or as a compost accelerator.

What should I avoid putting into a Bokashi Bucket?

You can’t put liquids, paper, plastic or meat bones in a Bokashi Bucket.

Does it smell?

Not really. The Bokashi Bran eliminates foul smells and the bran itself is sweet smelling.

How long does the process take?

The actual fermentation process takes 2-3 weeks which is why we recommend the rotation kit. This allows you to leave one bucket to ferment whilst you’re filling the other and rotate every 2-3 weeks.

What can I do with the contents once they are fermented?

You have several options. The most popular is to tip the contents into a garden composter or compost heap to finish off. Because the waste has been fermented – it is now perfectly safe to add to the composter – even though it once contained meat, fish or cooked food.

Alternatively, you can tip the contents into a wormery, but be careful not to overfeed the wormery. If you add the contents of the Bokashi Bucket to your wormery, be sure to add some lime mix too to avoid acidic conditions where possible.

The other option is simply digging it straight into the soil in your garden. We don’t recommend planting directly onto it for a couple of weeks afterwards, but once you do the soil will be highly nutritious.

It's all gone mouldy. Is it going wrong?

If it’s white mould – don’t worry. In fact, white mould is a good sign. If it’s green mould then this is a sign you should add more Bokashi Bran.

What can I do with this liquid?

The liquid collected in a Bokashi Bin is very strong and needs to be diluted to 100 parts water before use. Once diluted, you can use it as a plant feed in your garden or you can tip it down the drain to help prevent algae build up. If you do this, you do not need to dilute it if you don’t wish to.

What is a Wormery?

A Wormery is a very simple, but highly effective and environmentally friendly method of turning dead organic matter (such as cooked and uncooked food and kitchen waste) into a superb high quality worm cast compost (vermicompost) and a nutritious liquid feed (leachate), which you can use in your garden and around your home. This liquid fertiliser is concentrated and need to be diluted in a ratio of 10 parts water to one part concentrated fertiliser.

Worm compost, like that produced by our Wormeries, is often referred to by the experts as black gold as it really is the best and most nutrient rich compost you can get. A wormery is an expertly acclaimed method of obtaining this black gold worm compost, as well as reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill at the same time.

What are the different types of Wormery available and which is better?

There are two main types of Wormery available and choosing between them is not much more than personal preference. All of our wormeries work well from a technical perspective. They all do the same job and do it very well, but you may find one is more suitable for your needs than the other. Additionally, you will need to consider size and location. The two types we offer are our classic range of all-in-one wormeries (The Original, Junior & The Midi Wormery) and the multi-tray Tiger Wormery.

The Original Wormery is the first ever commercially available domestic wormery and has remained our best seller for a very long time (although it has gone through considerable development, improvement and refinement over the years). With its all-in-one design, the waste and liquid is all self-contained inside the bin, with an internal drainage platform separating the solids from the liquid and allowing you to catch and tap-off the leachate liquid feed.

It works well because the worms are surface-feeders. That means that even as the top section of the bin (where the solids are) fills, the worms tend to remain close to the surface – turning the waste into compost which they leave lower down. That means that emptying it is relatively straightforward when full. You simply trowel off the top few inches and put this to the side. Empty the worm compost out from underneath then pop the top few inches which you have put to the side back in the bin at the bottom.

Our multi-tray system Tiger Wormery removes this element of initial separation by using multiple trays to house the compost and waste. Each tray has a perforated base which allows the worms to move freely between them. You start off feeding your food waste into the bottom tray and as each tray fills, the worms move to the waste in the next tray upwards, leaving behind compost as they work their way up through the trays. So, by the time the worms have moved up to the top tray, the bottom tray should be ready to harvest and can simply be removed and emptied before being placed back on top.

So, you can see that each Wormery works in exactly the same way, but the method of harvesting the compost is different. Whichever Wormery you think will be easier for you to use is the one to go for and if you’re still not sure then you might be reassured by the fact The Original Wormery has been our best-seller for nearly 20 years.

Which Wormery should I buy?

For single person households, we recommend the Junior and Midi Wormeries and our Original Wormery and 3 Tray and 4 Tray Wormeries are great for larger households. And if you have five or more people in your household and you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, why not buy two? The answer to the question of which one to buy will be different for each person, but all our wormeries are high-quality.

What's the difference between a Deluxe and a Standard Wormery?

The Deluxe Wormeries are an upgrade on our Standard Wormeries and include everything you get with a Standard wormery plus 1.5kg of worm treats, a Composting With Worms book by George Pilkington and A Coir Fibre Moisture Mat.

How much of my food waste will my Wormery cope with?

It varies by the size and capacity of the wormery, but all of ours are designed to take the majority of the average daily waste produced by its user. The Junior Wormery, for example, is designed for single person use and it will cope with the average food output of a single person. The Original Wormery is designed for family usage.

Why should I buy my Wormery from Bokashi Direct?

We invented the first commercially available Wormery over 20 years ago and we even devised (and trademarked) the very word Wormery as it relates to composting. With this pedigree, we proudly continue to offer simply the best range of great value, but high-quality wormeries on the market today.

Our products have received independent acclaim over the last 20 years and we hold thick files of unsolicited customer testimonials which we are very flattered to receive and our customer service team are very highly experienced in resolving any issues or answering any questions you might have before or after you buy from us.

Apart from being the inventors, and thus to some extent the experts, and apart from offering an unrivalled range of Wormeries, we also offer the best value in the country and, remember, we supply tiger worms.

What are the main benefits of a Wormery?

A Wormery will divert your cooked and uncooked food waste, along with things like shredded newspaper, cardboard tubes, teabags, egg boxes and more away from landfill.

In the UK, about a third of what we throw away is food waste which could otherwise be composted in a Wormery. In fact, we throw away something in excess of 7 million tonnes of food waste and peelings every year.

Not only that, a Wormery is also giving you something useful back. The highest quality compost you can get and a liquid feed which you can use to feed indoor and outdoor plants and you can also save money with one.

Where is the best place to keep my Wormery?

The best place to keep your wormery is anywhere with a relatively stable temperature that is out of direct sunlight and preferably frost free. Most people keep their Wormery in their garage or next to the back door. A shed is also a popular location for a Wormery (you can also keep it indoors if you feel confident enough) and have space under a worktop or similar.

What is the best temperature for the Wormery to operate at?

Worms operate all year round, but they work best within the temperature range we humans tend to feel comfortable in.

What foodstuffs should I avoid putting into the Wormery?

While worms will eat fish, we generally advise against it as it can get smelly quickly as a Wormery is usually not smelly at all. Small quantities of cooked meat, however, are fine.

Try to avoid using acidic foods in quantity such as oranges, lemons, limes and the peel. The worms find acidic conditions uncomfortable. We supply all our Wormeries with an anti-acid lime mix which helps to neutralise an acidic environment.

Other than that, pretty much all your cooked and uncooked food waste can be added straight into a Wormery, although cutting up thick fibrous waste such as broccoli and cauliflower stalks can be helpful. Fruit peelings, coffee grounds, cooked scraps, potato peelings, bits of cardboard, kitchen paper and vegetable and salad wastes will all work.

What is the anti-acid lime mix and what does it do?

Essentially it is a gentle form of calcium which reduces the acidity. Most food waste is mildly acidic and worms thrive best at a broadly neutral pH 7. A small handful sprinkled over the surface every 4 to 5 weeks will keep the conditions sweet. Crushed up eggshells (which are essentially calcium oxide) have the same effect.

What type of worm is best in my Wormery?

There are 28 species of earthworm native to the UK and of these, three are particularly suitable for composting. We strongly believe that Eisenia Fetida (or the tiger worm) is the best at the job. Essentially it survives in a wider variety of conditions and has a better appetite so deals with more food waste.

Other suppliers of worm bins use Dendrobaena, which are more widely available (and significantly cheaper) and are widely used by anglers as bait. You can also put the small red wriggly worms for your compost bin in too, but we supply approximately 100 to start with, which is plenty, and they breed well in a Wormery.

How long do the worms live?

Tiger worms typically live for between 6 months and 2 years.

If I cut a worm in half, do two worms really survive?

No. This is a myth. It is possible one half of the worm may survive (but not definite), but you definitely won’t end up with two worms.

My worms have been delivered, but where should I keep them until I’m ready to set up my Wormery?

You can store worms in the fridge once they arrive if you need some time to get your Wormery sorted.

Will my worms survive while in transit?

Yes, we put the worms in special bags so they can survive while in the post. We usually send them via Royal Mail.

Will I need to keep buying more worms for my Wormery?

No. The great thing about worms is that they breed rapidly. If the environment in the Wormery is good for the worms they will breed well and will renew themselves so you shouldn’t need to reintroduce new worms. However, should you have a disaster and need more worms we can supply them in any quantity.

Will I end up with too many worms in my Wormery?

Nope. Worms are clever with their breeding in that they will never overpopulate. They regulate their reproduction based on their environmental conditions, the space they have available and the food supply.

Will the worms escape?

It depends on the type of wormery you have. From a home-made or poorly made wormery escapees are likely. Our Original Wormery has been designed to keep worms in as it is a fully sealed unit, but it is possible you might have some escapees.

As the worms settle, they explore. This is perfectly normal. Losing a few worms is nothing to be particularly worried about, there are enough worms supplied to continue breeding.

Once the wormery has been established and the worms have settled it provides them with their ideal environment and conditions. The worms are in an excellent and near ideal environment inside a dark, cool wormery so they won’t want to get away even if they could.

My worms don’t seem to be moving around a lot. What does this mean?

It’s not unusual for worms to look like they’re not moving around. Some people have been worried in the past that it’s a sign they’ve died, but this is not usually the case. Our customer service team can always help with any concerns you have and are on 01462 341163.

What are the most common issues people might have with a Wormery?

The most likely reasons for the failure of a Wormery are the following:

1) Overfeeding in the early stages 
The worms need a little while to settle in and the food waste you add needs to partly (rot) decompose naturally before the worms are able to eat it. The first few weeks are the slowest and you should generally only feed a couple of handfuls a week when you first set it up. Once the worms are established and the food is in the correct state (rotting) for the worms, you can increase the throughput.

2) Conditions get too wet
If the food waste in the Wormery gets very soggy and wet, then this can cause problems for the worms. With the weight of the water in the waste the waste becomes compacted and the air is pushed out of the waste. Worms need air. Signs of this are as follows. You might find they try to get away from the food waste – they will be at the top of the wormery on the sides. You may find the worms have disappeared – they could be in the sump. If this is the case, it is likely the worms have drowned in the liquid in the sump. The sump should be drained regularly, please note most fruit and vegetable waste is 85% water.

It is an easy problem to solve, however. If the waste is looking wet (soggy), if you took a handful and squeezed it hard, if water runs out between your fingers it is too wet (damp/moist is good!) then simply shred up cardboard egg cartons (are preferable) or newspaper and mix this thoroughly into the Wormery right down to the base plate or bottom of the tray. This will soak up the excess moisture, help aerate the compost, and return the Wormery to the normal operation.

3) Conditions get too acidic
This can be a problem if you add a large amount of acidic food waste such as citrus peel and / or conditions get waterlogged. Pot worms (enchytraeids) are tiny thread like worms that resemble a piece of white sewing thread a few millimetres long. They occur quite naturally and are harmless – in fact they do the same job as the Tiger worms. However, they thrive at a lower, more acidic pH than is ideal for the tiger worms. The proliferation of these pot worms is a sign of acidity – so if this occurs add a handful of the lime mix and combine it with the points above when the waste gets too wet.

What about flies?

Flies should find it rather difficult to get into your wormery. However, wormeries can sometimes provide a good breeding environment for them if they are inadvertently introduced with some waste.

If you do end up having a problem with flies you can use an organic fly spray to kill their lifecycle. Instructions on how to deal with this are provided in the instruction booklet.

Do the Wormeries come with instructions?

All of our wormeries are provided with very comprehensive, easy-to-follow instructions which contain hints and tips on successfully operating your Wormery.

What if it all goes wrong?

If the instructions are followed, this is unlikely. But if you do feel your wormery is not working properly, don’t panic. We are only at the end of a telephone call and it would be our pleasure (and determination) to troubleshoot, advise and to help make the wormery a success for you.  You can reach us on 01462 341163.

How long will it be before I get some worm compost?

A handful of waste takes just a few weeks to compost. However, you need to build up a good amount of compost to make harvesting it easy and worthwhile. Typically, it takes around a year to fill the Wormery with compost (with The Tiger Wormery you obviously harvest each tray more frequently). This is because most of food waste is liquid content which is released from the food and comes out the tap as the liquid feed. Please note when using the liquid feed, it needs to be diluted 10 parts water to one-part liquor, before use on your plants or vegetables.

How long does it take for the liquid feed to start coming through?

This is typically within around 4 – 6 weeks maximum. Though it could be quicker, or longer, depending on the amount and type of food you’re putting in and the time of year (or rather prevailing weather and temperature). Once the liquid starts to come through you generally tap it off every week. Please remember if you leave the liquor in the sump and worms get in they will drown.

Do I need to dilute the liquid feed?

Yes, the feed should be diluted with 10 parts water prior to being used.

What can I use the liquid feed on?

The liquid feed is multi-purpose and can be used on indoor and outdoor plants, flower beds, vegetable patches or on your lawn.

Do Wormeries smell?

A Wormery is almost an odourless process because the food is consumed by the worms rather than left to decompose. Therefore any strong odour is eliminated by the worms before it has a chance to occur. If you stick your head inside a wormery – you may notice a compost-like sweet smell, an earthy chrysanthemum or even a tomato plant smell.

What happens if I go away on holiday?

No problem at all. A well established Wormery should be fine left for around a month. Simply add some food waste before you go and leave the tap open with a container underneath (just to stop the build up of liquid feed) and enjoy your holiday! The worms will look after themselves.

How much compost can a Wormery hold?

Each tray in a Wormery can hold approximately 15.5 litres, giving three-tray Wormeries a capacity of roughly 46.5 litres and four-tray Wormeries a capacity of around 62 litres.

Can I put compostable nappies into my Wormery?

This is a common question after compostable nappies have received increasing press over the last few years. Technically, the worms can indeed turn nappies into compost, but the problem comes with size and quantity. If you were to compost all your nappies, the wormery would very quickly become full and the worms would unfortunately not be able to cope. One or more of our excellent garden composters might be better for this job.

Can Wormeries compost pet poo?

The simple answer is yes, but be careful. Waste and bedding from most herbivores e.g. rabbits, hamsters, gerbils etc. is fine.

However we do not advise adding waste from meat eaters such as cats and dogs which is more unpleasant and carries a risk of the toxocara virus. We offer a purpose-made Pet Poo Wormery which is designed to deal with that sort of waste.

Which is the correct spelling? Wormeries or Wormerys?

The correct plural of the word wormery is Wormeries, though some people do use the term Wormerys.

Can I build my own Wormery?

If this is what you wish to do, we wish you good luck! Designing a wormery is notoriously difficult to get right and we’ve unfortunately seen lots of examples of poorly made Wormeries going wrong and ending up as a big mess.

It is unfortunate, but we are increasingly seeing ‘experts’ advising people on how to build Wormeries at home, but putting no thought into drainage or airflow because they want to jump on the ‘go green’ bandwagon.

If you wish to give it a go, we do supply a DIY Wormery kit which will provide you with the worms, bedding and anti-acid lime mix you need.

Is it best to mix and turn Wormeries like you do with compost heaps?

This is not necessary or a routine operation as it is for a garden composter. However, you do need to dig into it occasionally to check all is well. Also, if it gets very wet and waterlogged you will need to thoroughly mix in dry cardboard and shredded newspaper.

Where can I get the best and the best value Wormeries from?

Right here, of course! From the Wormery inventors and experts – Original Organics.

What does a coir mat do and is it the same as a moisture mat?

A coir mat, sometimes referred to as a moisture mat, are designed for the purpose of attracting worms to the top of your wormery and prevent fly infestations. The mats should be put in the top tray and they’ll eventually be eaten up by the worms and degrade.

What are the purpose of worm treats?

If your Wormery gets too wet, the worm treats can be added to absorb any excess moisture. They can be processed by your worms and are wood-based. Our 1.5kg bags will give you about six months’ supply.

What is compost?

Compost is the term used to describe decayed organic material which is used as fertilizer for growing plants.

Compost is environmentally-friendly and has many benefits including the ability to return nutrients, vitality and structure to soil, helping to break up clay soils, improving drainage and water retention and increasing worm activity.

It’s also free, natural and valuable and can save you money on potentially expensive waste collection services. Compost has also understandably been described as black gold.

Composting is easy, but easy to get wrong. All you need is a little knowledge and the right ingredients. We all have our own ideas of how to compost, some are successful and others are not. If you are happy with your method, then do not change.

It’s also a lesser-known fact that Charles Darwin, of theory of evolution and natural selection fame, spent 10 years studying and researching the activity of worms, invertebrates and microorganisms in what he called ‘the fermentation of vegetable matter’ or as we call it, composting.

What can I compost?

There are a number of things, some fairly obvious and perhaps some more surprising, that you can compost including:

  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Weeds
  • Dead plants
  • Food scraps (e.g. fruit and vegetables)
  • Straw/hay
  • Tea/coffee grounds
  • Twigs/chopped wood
  • Herbivorous pet waste (e.g. from guinea pigs, rabbits etc.)
  • Cardboard
  • Hair, dust waste and newspaper

Don’t compost the following:

  • Weeds gone to seed as they may germinate
  • Meat (except for small quantities of cooked meat)
  • Grease
  • Bones
  • Dairy products
  • Dog/cat waste as it’s unpleasant and there’s a risk of toxocara virus
  • Thick branches
  • Diseased material
  • Pernicious weeds e.g. bindweed/cooch or twitch grass/ground elder

The materials we can compost can be split into two lists:

Nitrogen (sappy and wet items):

  • Food scraps
  • Grass clippings
  • Rotted manure
  • Weeds

Carbon (woody and dry items):

  • Woody twigs
  • Wood chips
  • Sawdust
  • Straw ‘dryer’/’brown’ waste
  • Newspapers
  • Leaves
  • Cardboard

To get trouble-free compost it is best to have about two parts nitrogen and one part carbon and they complement each other. Carbon traps the air (physically not chemically).

What's the best way to make compost at home?

It depends on how quickly you want your compost and how simple you’d like the process to be.

There’s the easy way where you:

  • Add items for composting as you go.
  • Maintain a ratio of two parts sappy/nitrogen to one part woody/carbon.
  • Keep adding to the bin until it is full and well settled.

The finished compost will be at the bottom and there’s no reason why you can’t run two or more compost bins using this method.

Secondly, there’s the quicker method where you:

  • Build up a pile of material all at once using the same ratio of carbon and nitrogen.
  • Fill the bin in one go.
  • After one week, turn the pile.
  • After another week, turn the pile again.
  • Cover the pile with black polyethylene and composter then start again.

The compost will be ready in 3-4 months.

What should I look for in a compost bin?

We recommend five features to look out for when choosing your compost bin:

  1. Size – the bigger, the better. But it’s better to fill a small bin than half-fill a large one.
  2. Colour – darker colours are best for absorbing and retaining heat.
  3. Shape – conical-shaped compost bins have good drainage and air circulation.
  4. Solid – external vents also slow down the process and only aerate the outer layers.
  5. Doors – don’t feel you have to have one, but many people do for preference.
Should I be worried about insects and bacteria in my compost bin?

Don’t fear if your compost bin attracts worms, woodlice or other invertebrates as they’re all beneficial creatures who can help break compost down. Worms in particular can eat the equivalent of their own weight in a day.

And certain types of bacteria and organisms are also useful in the process, so again, don’t despair if you come across:

  • Psychrophiles – so-called cold loving organisms who tend to thrive at temperatures between -20 and 10 Celsius.
  • Mesophiles – these grow best in moderate temperatures, typically between 20 and 45 Celsius and eat everything in sight.
  • Thermophiles – these do the really hot work and last 3 to 5 days. The heat also helps to kill weeds and seeds and they perform best in temperatures between 41 and 122 Celsius.
Are additives necessary?

Additives definitely have their uses and there are several reputable products you can use such as a compost activator as it’s handy and a rich source of nitrogen.

However, a good heap will build up micro-organisms quickly on its own and mixing the heap can help it along.

Believe it or not, the cheapest and most highly effective natural additive is human urine.

Can I keep composting in the winter?

Yes, you can. Twigs and a range of other wood items are good things to compost in winter and keep adding your kitchen waste too.