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Composting & Waterbutts: How to Make Your Garden More Eco-Friendly

09 June 2020

You may not know this, but food waste is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions: one of the primary causes of global warming.

According to a study from the charity WRAP, an estimated 9.5 millions tons of food ended up at a landfill across the UK in 2018 alone.

So it goes without saying that the more we can do to limit our own food waste at home, the healthier the planet is! Which is why we’ve put together this handy guide for making your garden more eco-friendly, from home composting to installing a waterbutt to help you save on your water bill.

Turn Your Food Scraps into Nutrient-Rich Plant Food

You know those leftover scraps of food? The apple cores and orange rinds, the carrot and potato peel, the used coffee grounds? Turns out they’re not rubbish after all.

It turns out they’re actually incredibly useful: they can all be composted! But what is composting? If you’re looking for simple ways to make your garden more eco-friendly, recycle more and save money, then read on.

What is Composting?

Home composting is the process of recycling organic materials that would otherwise be considered waste. The end result is a heap of compost that is nutrient-rich and perfect for use in soil for growing plants.

B&M Top Tip: first thing’s first: you’ll need a quality Composter Bin in which to place your organic material.

Split Materials into Greens & Browns

Compost heaps need to be carefully balanced with certain types of material in order to produce effective compost.

Green Materials:

  • Grass cuttings
  • Leafy or young weeds
  • Uncooked fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Tea leaves (no bag)
  • Coffee granules

Brown Materials:

  • Waste paper
  • Cardboard
  • Paper towels
  • Bedding from vegetarian pets (hay/straw)
  • Woody prunings (shredded) & plant stems

Aim for an equal proportion of green to brown, too little or too much of one can result in a heap that’s either too dry or too slimy. And make sure to add both kinds in equal proportions at the same time, taking care not to squash them down onto the heap.

B&M Top Tip: Why not use a storage box lined with a biodegradable waste bags to store your Green and Browns before adding to the compost heap?

Moisture Levels

You’ll need to keep an eye on the moisture level of your compost heap. If it’s looking dry you can add water, but be careful not to add too much. A compost heap that’s too wet can cause the valuable nutrients to leak out.

B&M Top Tip: How do you know if your heap has the right amount of moisture? Pick up a handful of compost and squeeze it in your fist. It should resemble a sponge, not sopping wet when held, but enough so that water leaks out when you squeeze.

Where to Put Your Compost Heap

While you can’t control the weather, you should find a spot in your garden that’s least likely to be subjected to extremes of temperature and water. A shady part of the garden is preferable, so as not to receive too much direct heat from the sun and less water when it rains.

B&M Top Tip: Turning the heap at least once a month to introduce air ensures the bacteria in the compost can thrive.

What are the Benefits of Composting?

Depending on the size of your compost heap, it can take between 6 months - 2 years before it’s ready to use in your garden.

When it’s dark brown and crumbly, with an earthy smell, your compost heap will be ready to use! Mix it with soil in planters or in your borders and watch your garden flourish!

Save Water, Save Money, Save the Planet!

If you’re looking at your scorched lawn and wondering how to give it the moisture it so desperately needs, then a waterbutt could be the answer. You’ll be doing your bit for the environment, will make savings on your water bill and in the event of a hose pipe ban, you’ll have a ready-to-use source of water for your garden.

Have a look at our range of Waterbutts available in store, and start saving (water, money, the planet) today!

Waterbutt Accessories & Ready-to-Use Compost

Already got your own waterbutt? At B&M you’ll find a great range of waterbutt accessories, from Waterbutt Stands to Connector Pipes and Waterbutt Taps.

Take a look at the whole Waterbutts & Composter range to find what you need to make your garden more eco-friendly!

And if you can’t wait to get going, don’t forget you can pick up ready-to-use compost in-store, from Westland Gro-Sure All-Purpose Compost to Jack’s Magic Traditional Blend, and much more!

Got any great composting tips of your own? Share your garden secrets with the B&M Community over on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

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