I'm not particularly green fingered but recently purchased a compost bin however I'm not entirely sure what I do with it once it's full.

I've been putting grass cuttings and fruit/veg waste from the kitchen in it over the past few months however I've got a couple of questions.

  • How do I know when it's all composted down?
    • And is there anything I need to do to help this process.
  • Once it's become compost,
    • How do I use it
    • Does it need mixing in with soil/earth
  • Are there certain things I shouldn't put in there.
    • I've avoided putting bramble cuttings in there and any branches I've cut down as it seemed that these would take longer to decompose.

1 Answer 1


In my experience with composting, grass clippings and fruit/veg waste will not be enough. You need both green and brown. In other words, the greens you have been adding need to be balanced (50:50 ratio if possible) with brown stuff like dry leaves, twigs, sawdust, etc. The nitrogen (green stuff) needs to be balanced with carbon (brown stuff) and it all needs a lot of water, to facilitate the slow-burn that is needed. No dirt, and it needs to be turned over frequently so oxygen can feed the reaction.

You will know when it is done; the volume will shrink and it will be black with an earthy odor.

  • So I should be turning it over to get the oxygen to it, in terms of water, is it just a case of adding water too it as I turn it over?
    – Conor
    Jul 20, 2020 at 7:07
  • 1
    Yes you should be turning/fluffing like once a week at least. As for the water, it depends. My pile is on the ground in a 3-sided wood bin, so excess water just soaks into the ground. I soak it with a couple gallons like 2 or 3 times a week. If you have a plastic bin that holds moisture, you would need less I think. I will say that in my experience, when it dries out it stops composting and just sits there. When it's moist and I go to turn it, it actually seems to be slowly burning inside and steam comes off it... good stuff. Jul 20, 2020 at 19:58

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