Summer: What Waste Can I Compost from the Home and Garden?

Thursday, 31 May 2018  |  HOTBIN Composting

Summer: What Waste Can I Compost From the Garden?

Materials to Compost in the Summer

Summer, it’s the season for  enjoying lush, colourful blooms, cool refreshing drinks in the garden with heavenly home grown strawberries and fresh cream in the garden (we know that this isn’t always the case in the UK, but we can dream can’t we?!). It is also a great time of the year to find plenty of compostable material in the garden and get the HOTBIN operating at the higher end of hot composting temperatures.  So what materials might you find in your garden to compost during the summer months?

Early Summer (June)

Prune and Compost:

  • Spring flowering shrubs such as Peonies, Deutzia, Kolkwitzia, Philadelphus and Weigela
  • Ornamental cherry trees after the blossom has fallen
  • Clematis and Lilacs
  • Wisteria
  • Bush fruit immediately after cropping

Cut Back and Compost:

  • Evergreen box and privet hedges once birds have fledged – if possible, put these cuttings through a garden shredder before adding them into the HOTBIN. Dose these waste types into the HOTBIN gradually and mixed in with other easier to digest waste types such as grass cuttings and vegetable peelings for optimum results rather than one waste type all in one go.
  • Ornamental poppies and Pulmonarias
  • Alliums
  • Remove side shoots on cordon tomatoes

Deadhead and Compost:

  • Spent flowers from Camellias and Rhododendrons
  • Delphiniums and Lupins to encourage a second flowering
  • Flowering stems from herbs such as Parsley

Mow the Lawn

Once a week on a dry day mow the lawn and compost the grass cuttings. Don’t forget to add shredded paper and bulking agent!

Hoe Weed Seedlings  

Compost these only if your HOTBIN is operating above 40°C! More information about composting weeds in the HOTBIN.

 

Mid Summer (July)

Prune and Compost:

  • Cherry and plum trees after fruiting
  • Remove any weak, damaged and crossing branches
  • Any remaining early spring flowering shrubs such as Wigelia
  • Deciduous Magnolia if required – don’t remove any more than 25% of the canopy

Cut Back and Compost:

  • Hardy Geraniums
  • Reverted foliage on variegated shrubs

Deadhead and Compost:

  • Roses – cutting just below the spent flower heads to encourage new blooms on repeat flowering varieties.
  • Delphiniums and Lupins
  • Spent Hydrangea and Dahlia flowers

Mow the Lawn

Once a week on a dry day mow the lawn and compost the grass cuttings. Don’t forget to add shredded paper and bulking agent!

Hoe Weed Seedlings 

  • Compost these only if your HOTBIN is operating above 40°C!

Trim Evergreen Hedges  

  • If trimming conifers ensure these are placed  through a garden shredder before adding them into the HOTBIN. Dose these waste types into the HOTBIN gradually for optimum results.


Late Summer (August)

Prune and Compost:

  • Wisteria
  • Summer prune established apple and pear espaliers and cordons
  • Rambling Roses – aim to prune out 1 in 3 stems
  • Fruited canes of summer raspberries

Cut Back and Compost:

  • Lavender – take off the top 2-3 cm of growth
  • Hardy Geraniums
  • Beech hedges if possible, put these cuttings through a garden shredder before adding them into the HOTBIN. Dose these waste types into the HOTBIN gradually for optimum results rather than in one go.
  • Last chance to cut back Conifers to avoid the risk of die-back – make sure you only cut into the new growth though

Lightly Trim: Hebes after flowering

Mow the Lawn

  • Once a week on a dry day mow the lawn and compost the grass cuttings. Don’t forget to add shredded paper and bulking agent!
     

Vegetables

Summer is also a great time for harvesting vegetables which provide tasty home grown produce as well as vegetable peelings and trimmings for the HOTBIN. You may find trimmings you can add from spring onions, beans, strawberries, chard, cauliflower as well as corn on the cob husks and foliage from early potatoes.

Using Your Compost

If you have moisture loving herbs such as Mint and Chervil or any brassicas, now is a good time to add some mulch. Mulch will also assist in suppressing weeds in the beds and borders. If you’ve harvested a more mature, general purpose grade of compost, use in pots or spread it evenly on the top of your flower beds to help retain moisture and add nutrients.