Composting is a great way to not only reduce the amount of waste you take to the landfill, but also a way to add extra nutrients to your gardens. Have a read for more tips!
Quite simply it is a mixture of organic material that is used as fertiliser. Generally, the ingredients used to make compost come from our gardens and kitchens (food scraps) although organic material is anything that was once living.
As the organic material breaks down, it changes and becomes what is known as humus. During the process, soil micro-organisms, worms and insects convert the organics into a soil-like material which can then be used in the garden.
The benefits of Compost
Mitre10 has a guide on how to make your own compost with information on what can and can’t go into compost, as well as common problems.
Before you choose a compost bin you should consider what you will be putting in it. Larger, open bins are better for people with large amounts of garden waste. Smaller, enclosed bins are more suitable for households with large quantities of food waste as they provide a barrier to rodents.
If you are making your own bin, you can use a wide range of material, including chicken wire, wood, plywood, bricks, concrete blocks, etc.
Stacking bins have the advantage of being moveable and can be extended to cope with large amounts of waste. Black polythene or sacks may be used for lining, warmth and moisture control. Wrap a netting frame around wooden stakes. Line these with newspaper or cardboard to retain heat.
A compost high in nitrogen with no air will become acidic. Add carbon and turn your compost.
Add grass clippings to increase heat and turn regularly.
A well maintained compost bin will produce compost in 3-4 months in summer, and up to 6 months in winter. However, times vary depending on the method, bin contents, time of year and regularity of turning.
Compost feeds the soil, helps with water retention and encourages earthworms into your garden.
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