Bee Leaf Privilege Club

Compost Dos and Don'ts

If you haven't seen it already, you might like our ‘Starting Your Compost Heap’ page.

Once your compost heap is up and running there are plenty of ways to improve the quality of the finished product. Try our compost Do's and Don'ts!

Compost Do’s


DO add material to your compost heap throughout the year although the rotting process will take longer during the colder months.

DO cover your heaps with old carpet, black polythene or a piece of wood to stop the contents from getting too wet.

DO add material of different thickness in layers to keep the contents aerated.

DO mix grass clippings with some coarser material before adding them to your heaps.

DO empty the heaps once your compost is ready for use. If you do not need it immediately it can be bagged up and stored where it will continue to mature!

DO use a compost accelerator such as Garotta to speed up the rotting process.

DO shred or chop woody material before adding it to your heaps.

DO crush egg shells before composting to help them break down more quickly.

DO add shredded papers and shredded cardboard in small amounts.

DO add small amounts of fresh farm yard manure, horse manure or chicken manure if you can get hold of any.

Compost Don’ts


DON’T add too much of one thing to your heaps. Keep a balance between the materials added.

DON’T add grass clippings from lawns that have been treated with weed or moss killers or given a ‘weed and feed treatment’ until a month after the application.

DON’T add perennial weeds such as Dandilions and Dock Leafs.

DON’T add weeds or plants that have ‘gone to seed’. The seeds will sit in the compost and start to grow at a later date!

DON’T add diseased leaves and plants – these should be burnt or put out with your household rubbish.

DON’T add cat and dog faeces and cat litter, for hygiene reasons.

DON’T add cooked food scraps, raw fish or meat which could attract vermin.

DON’T add man made materials such as nylon and plastic. They will never rot down.

DON’T worry if the bin never fills up. The contents will ‘shrink’ as they compost.

DON’T stop the process! If your compost is ready, bag it up and store it rather than leave it in the heaps. It will continue to mature!