Compost, you wouldn't believe how simple it can be or how complex it can be. There are numerous books devoted to the subject, even most books about growing veg will have a chapter on the subject. Nearly everyone on youtube who dedicate their channel to growing will mention compost or even have a full video about the dark arts of composting.
So what do you put on your compost?
Well personally I follow a recipe or should it be concoction who knows, anyway I got my recipe from Mick Poultney my compost guru, yes I have a compost guru although I don't follow his recipe to the letter as I like to be organic and free as can be because I'm cheap, although I like to call it recycling the in thing at the moment I believe. I want to be cost free on my allotments in a year or two so that's why I omit a couple of things that Mick adds. Well this is the concoction I use, the ammounts at the side can be anything it depends what scale your making your compost, I personally use an old flowerpot less the holes which holds around 2 pints.
Spent Hops x 2
Wormcast x 1
Mole Hill Soil x 1
Spent Peat x 1
Horse Manure x 1
Pigeon Manure x 1
Leaf Mould x 1
Seaweed x 1
Now all of the above can be found for free or pennies at most.
Just put into google brewery + your postcode and you'll get the breweries near you, I was actually surprised one was 1/2 mile away, sadly when I contacted them a farmer had beat me to it. I did however find one 10 minutes away who when I emailed them said "there round the back take as much as you like", on going they even knocked % of some beer I purchased, they think I'm doing them a favour taking the hops away
Now you may have to buy this but if you make your own wormery you'll end up getting it for free in no time at all, plus you'll have some pets :p also the worms reproduce so you'll be able to expand your wormery to wormeries or barter/sell the worms. I go fishing but would never use my wormery worms or sell them to any fishermen, just doesn't seem right.
I don't buy peat on a moral ground but we all know people who use grow bags and just throw them away when they've finished growing in them grab them before they do.
Same as the spent hops but this time put in stables and your postcode, now some will charge but where I go they ask for a small donation. To be honest I'm happy to give them money, I don't have any notion to ride horses nor do I like watching horse riding or jumping etc I just love the beauty of horses, so going for the manure is a treat for me.
I get this free, not so sure if it's lucky or not but the next plot holder keeps pigeons so I get as much manure as I want. However it means I have to net everything else they'd destroy my plot. You could also use chicken or other bird manure just up to you and what you can lay your hands on.
If you can't get leaves for free you must live in a concrete jungle, you may even get them with all the hard work done just look for people raking leaves up and ask them if you can have them. Depending on the ammount I get I either put them in bin bags and forget about them for awhile (the norm) or if I'm low on leaves i'll shred them and put them straight in the mix.
I'm lucky enough to know someone who goes sea fishing so they bring me plenty back that they find on the rocks, tangled on their line etc. When I get it I dry it then grind it up in an old food mixer which comes in handy for a few things. If you can't get seaweed you could use tablets crushed up.
You may have noticed I don't put plant material in as I give that to the worms or put it in a trench for later, also I give some to the pigeon man and others so don't usuallly have any for the compost.
So what do you do with your mix? I put it all in a heavy duty plastic bag I got from work then shake it about to mix it, I then put about 2 inches in depth in the compost bin put couple handfulls of shredded newspaper on it then sprinkle some nettle tea on to moisten it then repeat till the bin is full. I have some old carpet that I put on to keep it moist and warm.
Things I don't put on the compost.
Apart from this compost I also have a compost heap that I throw grass cuttings, stalks from beans (not the roots as I leave them in the ground for nitrogen), tomatoes etc. The above compost mix matures pretty quick thats why the rest goes on what I call the slow compost heap. So back on track, I don't put any meat products be they cooked or uncooked (rats) although I do know some who put fish skeletons on their compost. I also don't put onions, garlic or citrus cuttings, peelings etc on as I find the worms don't like them and the best thing you can do with compost is attract worms. Oh and cooked veg as in my opinion it also attracts rats as with the meat.
There are other things I'd like to mention compost wise but I may have bored you already so will leave those till later.