Using compost greatly improves soil quality by helping it retain moisture and suppressing weeds and it also reduces the need to use chemical fertilisers and pesticides. It’s also free and fun to make.

Compost bins can be made from wood, wire, bricks, plastic, cardboard or even straw. Whether you make your own or buy one, it’s the moisture, oxygen and warmth that what will make your compost great.

Grass clippings give nitrogen and need to be balanced with brown matter such as newspaper and dead leaves which provide carbon. Coffee grounds are excellent because worms love them and do add ashes sparingly as they are alkaline. It’s also worth remembering that the more you add to the pile in one go, the hotter the compost bin will get.

The final result should feel and smell like rich, dark soil.


Shredded paper

Raw vegetable peelings and tea bags

Old bedding plants

Soft hedge clippings

Dead leaves

Lawn mowings


Woody prunings


Diseased plant material

Perennial roots

Food scraps

Meat or bones

Pet waste