Creating and managing a compost heap
Composting is all about managing bacteria, fungi plus other soil organisms such as worms
With composting the key is to keep the bacteria in your compost heap or bin working as quickly as possible to break down the materials you add. This means making sure the compost is watered so it does not become too dry. Ideally, you should be able to squeeze a handful and have two or three drops of water drip from the handful. Feeding with Growmore fertiliser once every two months and using a cover in the winter normally an old piece of carpet or similar to keep the bacteria warm in the winter.
In your case the old compost will be useful for use with the camellias and other acid loving plantings including the pieris plants.
Most garden waste can be added to a compost heap, the larger items such as rose branches will need to be chipped first to help break then down.
We do not recommend adding cooked food and meat, although this will rot down it might also attract rats and mice into the heap.