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Paint your timber compost heap

As environmental issues are brought to the forefront and a movement to look after our world gains in strength, the importance of making our home gardens havens for wildlife is being talked about. Creating spaces that are beautiful and promote wildlife habitats is pretty simple with lots of brilliant advice available in gardening magazines, from environmental charities and organisations such as the RHS.

Having your own compost heap is one great way to garden organically, re-use food and certain household waste, and create compost that is rich in nutrients, insects and all the bacteria and micro-organisms that provide essential links in the ‘circle of life’.

My compost heap is an inherited big plastic thing. Really practical but ugly so I’m glad it sits behind a big shed and out of sight. My first yield of compost gold this year was a triumphant moment and it brings me great pleasure when I see my plants thriving in organic matter that I made for them!

If I could choose I would always go for a timber compost heap and there are so many lovely designs available that you’re a bit spoilt for choice. The composter featured here is made by Zest 4 Leisure and available from many garden centres and online stores. It’s of a traditional design and an affordable price so you can have two (if space allows) giving you a constant flow of compost.

Timber composters will always last years longer if you paint them with a high-performing wood paint, like ours! Cheaper timber will rot quicker so use the pennies you’ve saved to buy a tin of wood paint. Greatly extending the life of timber products is another easy way to help the environment. Painting with a wood paint also makes them look a lot prettier. You can select a colour that will turn them into a feature or one that helps them blend and disappear into the garden.

This customer wanted to refurbish and refresh her old composter as the old coating had worn away and the panels were covered in algae. After emptying the compost over her flower beds she set to taking apart and sorting out the timber sections. Painting over dirt or algae will mean that the paint will be blocked from fixing to the timber so she fired up her power sander and stripped the panels back to fresh wood.

She selected Blackthorn Wood Paint as had just painted her boundary fencing in the same colour. This natural dark wood tone compliment planting beautifully and helps borders and the composter disappear. For external timber we always recommend two coats of wood paint to produce the hardest-eating longest-lasting coating.

Our wood paint contains encapsulated algae inhibitors that become active when algae tries to grow. They effectively inhibit the growth of algae and being encapsulated, won’t leach into the ground.

The finished result is a very attractive composter that will last for many years, producing countless yields of fresh, healthy home-grown compost.