Composting is a natural method of maintaining and reintroducing nutrients into the soil, increasing the overall health of the soil and, therefore, crop yield. Composting can get rid of weed seedlings and harmful organisms and pathogens in the soil which would jeopardise your crop. You can compost at home in a bin if you only need small amounts to care for a garden, but composting on a larger scale would require a compost heap, to ensure that you have enough material to cover a farm, and also that the compost reaches the correct temperature to allow rapid decomposition. In order to make compost in a farm setting, it is important that you best encourage good microbial growth through several simple steps. Here are some tips on how to generate the best compost.

  • Do not compost material that is too wet or too dry. You ideally want your compost pile to consist of only slightly damp materials to ensure that moisture is controlled throughout the process.
  • You must allow for good air circulation of your compost pile, turning it regularly so that the temperature remains steady and that your compost is aerated, ensuring that decomposition is regular.
  • Making large amounts of compost in a pile or heap ensures that the compost can be kept at a high temperature, meaning that decomposition occurs quickly.
  • It is vital that your compost has a balance of both brown and green material. Brown material would include things such as used straw and hay, as well as shavings. Green material is things such as grass, manure and kitchen scraps.
  • When adding to your compost pile, you should turn the pre-existing pile before adding new material. Further, new material should be added in the same layers as the rest of your heap, starting with a layer of green material before topping off with a layer of brown material. This prevents your compost from emitting any foul odours.


Multiple by-products of your farming are perfect to compost, including used straw or wood chippings, so long as all composting material is broken down into small pieces before being added to your pile. However, a great item to add to your compost pile would be your onion peels left over from your harvest, as they are high in nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and copper, all of which help support healthy crop growth when they are present in the soil.

The Nicholson Top-Tailer not only removes the tops and tails from your onions, but also collects all of the waste onion peel that is removed in the process, meaning that it is simple for you to take it and add as a green layer to your compost heap. The Nicholson Top-Tailer has a patented design and is the recognised market leader for cleaning onions to produce unsurpassed market presentation. The machine is used throughout the world by packers needing to maintain very high standards, ensuring that their products meet customer preferences. The Top Tailer has the capacity to handle main crop onions, short day fresh onions, beetroot and some varieties of garlic.

All of the by-products from the Top-Tailer can be added to your compost heap too, ensuring that all waste is utilised. The more of the Top-Tailer waste you add to your compost, the more compost you actually make, which in turn increases soil health. The higher quality your soil, the greater your crop yield, which in turn come harvest, would allow you to generate more waste from your Top-Tailer.


Composting Top Tailer Diagram

Composting is a natural way to encourage soil to grow strong and healthy crops. Starting to compost would help reduce your farm’s reliance on inorganic fertilisers and chemicals which could damage soil health and kill healthy bacteria. Read more about the importance of soil health here. Compost, used in conjunction with Nicholson’s Soil Steriliser, would ensure that all harmful pathogens and organisms are removed from the soil, without damaging the topsoil and its microbiome, and allowing healthy organisms to flourish.

Contact Nicholson Machinery today to enquire about a Top-Tailer.