Keep your soil happy with your very own compost garden
How to start your own compost garden at home
There benefits of composting are endless! You can improve the structure, water retention and drainage of the soil in your garden, as well as increasing the retention of nutrients, resulting in happy and healthy plants.
Here’s how to get started. The best bit? Once you’re all set up, your compost system will mostly look after itself.
Types of composting systems
Worm farms and traditional compost bins are the main two types of compost systems.
Generally speaking, worm farms break down scraps quickly, whereas bins are better at breaking down acidic scraps (too many acidic scraps can actually kill worms) though work at a slower pace.
When it comes to compost bins you can go with a stationary or rotating option. If you go with a stationary bin option, be sure to pop your compost system in a sunny location as warmth speeds up the decomposition process.
You could also try a compost tumbler, which are nice and easy to turn and help to speed up the process.
What to put in your compost bin
For a successful compost system you will need sufficient amounts of air, water, living plant materials and dead plant materials.
To ensure your compost gets plenty of air it’s important to turn it regularly using a shovel or pitchfork.
Adding a lid or covering your pile with damp newspaper helps to keep moisture in. While the broken down food and veggie scraps will provide some water, it’s a good idea to add water directly every once in a while to make sure your soil (and worms) don’t dry out.
Good heat generating materials are known as “green materials” and include; young weeds, grass cuttings, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and tea leaves and plant remains.
“Brown materials” serve as the fibre in your compost, and include things like sawdust, straw, old flowers and hay.
When adding your scraps to your compost, be sure to mix up the layers of green and brown material. You can also scatter soil or starter compost between the layers to help generate the right bacteria.
What to avoid
- Don’t let your compost dry out. Add water regularly to keep things moist.
- Don’t rely on one type of waste. You need a mix of materials to create healthy soil.
- Don’t add too much waste at once or your compost will start to rot and smell.
If you’ve looked after everything properly you should have a level of good compost at the bottom of your bin to spread over your garden bed. Happy gardening!
This article originally appeared on Homestolove.com.au