Getting the dirt on composting

Composting isn’t as a dirty job as some would have you believe – and anyone can do it!

Not only is it a place you can put your lawn clippings, but it’s a way you can dispose of some of your food scraps and organic waste as well!

All you need is a bit of space and the four vital ingredients:

  • Air (so make sure your compost bin has some slots/holes in it for ventilation)
  • Water (water your compost regularly)
  • Nitrogen-rich Green Materials (fruit & veg scraps, coffee grounds & filters, tea bags, fresh leaves & plants, grass clippings, feathers, seaweed and horse manure)
  • Carbon-rich Brown Materials (corncobs, bread & grains, nut shells, egg shells, shredded newspaper, cardboard, paper, food soiled paper towels, dead leaves & plants, hay & straw, pine needled & cones, small twigs & wood chips, sawdust & wood shavings, dryer lint, potting soil, dried flowers, cotton & wool rags, kitchen & toilet roll tubes and hair & fur)

Stir it up!

Turn and mix the compost once weekly to aerate the pile. This distributes the contents evenly and keeps the microbes happy by giving them much needed oxygen.

More turning = faster compost!

Water it!

Add just enough water so the compost feels like a moist sponge. Too much or too little water will slow down the process.

Use it!

the compost is finished when all identifiable materials have turned into black, crumbly soil. Use it up and start all over again to make more!

  • Side dress your plants – please a ring of compost around each plant then water. The nutrients will seep into the soil, feeding the plants.
  • Till it into the soil – mix compost into the soil at the beginning of the gardening season to feed your garden plants
  • Give potting soil a boost – mix a few cups of compost into potting soil before repotting plants to give them an extra boost of nutrients.

 

Things you don’t want to compost:

  • weeds with seeds
  • diseased plants
  • sand
  • coal & charcoal ashes
  • coloured or glossy paper
  • meat & fish scraps
  • cheese & diary products
  • fats, oils & grease
  • Pet faeces & cat litter
  • Dead animals
  • large branches
  • treated wood
  • non-compostable materials
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