With environmental sustainability globally in the spotlight, we’re looking at alternative ways of living that impact positively within our community. Composting is one of those options!
Compost is not only nature’s way of recycling, it takes food scraps out of general waste that produce methane gas, contributing to climate change. If you’re a budding gardener, having nutritious compost will have all your plants so happy, and a natural place to break down all your offcuts.
What you’ll need:
A structure or container (with lid) for storing your compost: You can either pick one up from your local hardware store, or create your own using a plastic bin or pallet.
Carbon elements: Think anything from your garden that can break down like twigs, leaves, sticks or newspaper. Avoid diseased plant material, to avoid spreading the disease.
Nitrogen elements: Most of these come from your kitchen like fruit and vege scraps, egg shells, lawn clippings, coffee grounds or tea bags. Avoid adding meat, dairy products or bread as these can attract pests.
Set your bin in a sunny position but out of the way. You don’t want your bin where the kids play.
Prepare your compost in layers of carbon and nitrogen blends. By doing this, you’re creating the environment it needs to decompose. We recommend putting a bottom layer of sticks in your bin to promote aeration. You want each layer no thicker than 10cm.
Cut down bigger items so they break down more quickly. Each piece should be smaller than your ring finger.
To get the composting process underway quicker, add a little water or moist compost to each layer and mix it up.
Put the lid on so it can start composting, and mix it up about once a week. It’ll take 6-8 weeks for the compost to fully mature, and will be a dark brown colour, with an earthy smell.
Once it’s turned into nutrient-rich compost, dig it into your existing soil. Don’t plant directly into compost as it can burn the plant roots.
By composting your kitchen scraps, watch your outgoing rubbish decrease noticeably.