FIND A LOCATION
Choose a sheltered spot as wind can reduce the temperature of the composter and slow down the composting process. Ideally, position the composter against a wall or a fence, and if possible between objects i.e. a fews logs piled close to each end of the composter will provide a measure of insulation and help to preserve the heat generated by the compost.
The composter is likely to get a little smelly at times (in hot weather etc.) therefore it is advisable to find a suitable place a little distance from the doors and windows of your home.
When composting on a small scale it is essential to get the right mix of 'greens' (adds nitrogen and helps generate heat) and 'browns' (for fibre, carbon and to create air pockets.) Add them in thin alternate layers and shred waste for easier composting. Smaller pieces = faster decomposition.
Once you have added a nice 50/50 mix of Browns and Greens, add a handful of earth, manure or compost accelerator, to introduce bacteria, encourage microboal activity and stimulate the breakdown of organic waste.
It's important to keep the mixture damp, therefore it can also be necessary to add water frequently.
TIP: If the composter smells and is attracting flies, add some more soil.
Roll your composter regularly, making sure the contents turn over, allowing oxygen to feed the bacteria that is decomposing your organic waste.
This can be done as often as every day (for denser mixtures rich in nitrogen), or as little as every fortnight (if the mixture contains a lot of twigs, straw and larger pieces).
Your compost can be ready in less than 6 weeks, but will be finer and more manageable the longer you leave it. The compost you create can be used as a soil conditioner, a mulch for borders (adds nutrients and suppresses weeds) and even potting compost if you put it through a sieve before use.