The sweet smell of compost success

Horticulturalists who cannot go into their garden without retching at the smell of their compost heap have been offered advice by green-fingered expert Jane Perrone.

Writing in the online pages of the Guardian, she explains that smelly compost bins and heaps are often the result of inappropriate material being placed on or in them.

These may include food waste such as meat, fish, cooked food and dairy products – none of which should be used in compost.

Also, large piles of grass are also not recommended as they quickly become a "slimy, fetid mass".

"Thinly layer green waste with shredded paper and cardboard, which leave air pockets that help to compost without a stench," Ms Perrone suggests.

Fruit flies and other pests can also be discouraged by burying food waste under damp paper, she concludes.

Meanwhile, Rochdale borough council recently identified home composting as a method of producing a free, nutrient-rich fertiliser for green spaces.