With many councils temporarily suspending their brown bin garden waste collections due to the coronavirus outbreak and many garden and hardware shops closed, it’s certainly a tricky time to be managing a garden. But spring is here and it’s a great opportunity to do it! So here are a few ideas for managing your garden waste.

Get a compost bin

If you don’t have a compost bin already, you can make your own compost bin using materials you have at home. There are lots of plans online which help you make one out of wood, plastic containers or sheeting.

You might be able to also pick up these materials at hardware stores, but be sure you check for the latest information on opening times before you venture out, and try to combine it with other essential travel like food shopping.

You can try buying a compost bin online – it might take a little longer than usual to get to you though!

Create a compost heap

You can create a make-shift compost heap by simply creating a pile of woody and green material in a corner of your garden. If you have a piece of old carpet, cardboard or plastic sheeting available you can cover the heap with that. Weigh it down with bricks or stones to keep things in place and encourage faster composting.

Dedicate a corner of your garden to storing garden waste until the garden waste service restarts, and your local household waste and recycling centre reopens. Remember to add lots of 'brown' material, like small sticks, dried leaves and cardboard, to your compost to help it produce healthy compost faster! You need a mix of around half “greens” and half “browns” to keep your bin from being too wet or dry.

You may well have a shared garden, but that doesn’t mean you can’t compost – contact your neighbours and see if you can get them involved!

What you can and can’t compost

Things like fruit and vegetable peelings and scraps, leaves, hair and soft cardboard are perfect for your compost heap. Twigs and hedge trimmings can go in as long as they are relatively small – a whole branch isn’t going to compost. If you’re doing the first grass cut of the year you can put the clippings in your compost, but only in moderate amounts.

Some councils have also stopped food waste collections. If this is the case, you need to put meat, cooked food and dairy products in your general waste bin for now as they aren’t suitable for home composting

Hopefully these tips are enough to get you started with composting, and helps you keep the garden under control! If you want more information, we’ve got some popular guides with more details on composting.