Ants in the heap

QUESTION

my compost bins I have some fruit flies, and concluded that they are not a problem. However, I also get large quantities of ants. Are these harmful in compost? And, if they are is there a way to deal with them that won’t harm the beneficial insects. I also have woodlice, but assume that they are as harmless as they look.

 

Answer …

As you quite rightly say fruit flies are harmless and are not causing any harm However, you can reduce their numbers by burying the fresh waste when you add it to your bin as well as covering the top of the compost with a damp newspaper or cardboard. This will help to reduce access to the fruit that they feed on. Ants have a beneficial role in the composting process, playing a part in the recycling of animal and plant remains. There is no need to get rid of them, or the woodlice. Both are important in helping to recycle waste material.

However, the presence of the ants may indicate that your compost is on the dry side. Try turning the compost and giving it a good soaking with water.

Citrus waste

 

Question …

We often make fresh orange juice for breakfast and regularly produce several skins as waste. We have been avoiding putting any citrus peel on our compost heap having heard the “experts” saying don’t. What is your advice?

Answer …

Large quantities of citrus in a compost or worm bin can make the contents excessively acidic. Only add a little citrus peel at a time and mix with other waste. To help the peel break down, cut it up into small pieces. Addition of a handful of ground limestone will help to re-dress the balance if you add too much peel and composting has slowed down. If you are producing a large volume of peel you may wish to dispose of it in another way. You could take it to your local green waste dump where it would be composted with a larger volume of materials.

I would also put it though a mixer first

Slap-Chop-Food-Chopper-Machine-Vegetable-Fruit-Cutter-Kitchen-Helper

 

You should do this will all your kitchen waste were possible

As the worms  and other insect have small mouths that help to break down our compost

 

Composting paper

 

Question …

We have recently acquired a document shredder to safely dispose of unwanted documents, documents, bank statements, junk mail etc. We would very much like to incorporate the shredding into out compost, but are concerned about the possible effects of printing inks. Please could you advise?

Answer …

Adding paper to your compost heap is fine. The inks that are used in modern printing are mostly vegetable based, non-toxic and not damaging to the environment. If you do not produce a lot of woody waste then paper is a good alternative as it provides the fiber, necessary to make good compost. Ensure that you do not add too much shredded paper all at once and mix it well with other waste.

and water each layer unless you chop both your greens and browns together with Rain water not Tap water please and thank you

 

 

 

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