How to turn kitchen waste into “black gold” to nourish your garden

Composting is a vital component for your organic garden.

To compost or not to?  That is the question.

  • Composting is the cheapest source of organic material to build your soil.
  • Composting is a convenient way to convert kitchen scraps to valuable humus.
  • Composting recycles almost any organic material.


What to add in layers

  • Plants that need pulling out of the garden.
  • Succulent weeds (no seeds).
  • Vegetable that are past their use by date.
  • Lawn clippings.
  • Fruit peelings and scraps.
  • Egg shells.
  • Tea leaves.
  • Coffee  grounds.
  • Animal manure.
  • Straw (in thin layers only).
  • Newspaper (only shredded and soaked in water).
  • Yesterday’s flowers.
  • Hair and dust from the vacuum cleaner.
  • Urine is good. (Pee in a bucket, add approximately same quantity water, then water on compost heap weekly).

Do not add

  • Fatty and greasy kitchen scraps.
  • Meat , fish, dairy or cheese. These will attract vermin.
  • Diseased plants.
  • Tough roots.
  • Thick dry sticks and other woody material.
  • Onions and lemons. (Earthworms also have likes and dislikes. These sharp tastes are not their favourite dinner!)

Tips

  • Begin by putting dry leaves, small stones and  sticks on slightly sloping ground.
  • Big roots, weeds especially with seeds should not be added unless you are making “hot” compost.
  • To counter acidity, occasionally sprinkle on a handful of lime or wood ash.
  • Cover final layer with lid, or hessian or old carpet.
  • Keep moist not soggy.

There are many ways to speed up the decomposition

  • Add compost worms.
  • Turn and water weekly.
  • Shred ingredients before adding.
  • To activate your compost heap add leaves of comfrey , yarrow, elderberry,  tansy or borage. (These  magnificent herbs encourage bees and valuable insects to the garden as well)

When is compost ready ?

When it smells deliciously earthy and is dark brown in color and crumbles in your hand I call this BLACK GOLD!

compost, worm farm and liquid manure and seaweed bins
Margie making compost.

Sadly comfrey is considered a weed and is not easily purchased from a commercial nursery. My advice is to beg, borrow or steal from a friend. Once you have it, you too can share with other friends who don’t have it. Lets share the love around I say!

To purchase your Low Budget Organic Gardening Ebook click this link. 

 

“Soil is the substance of transformation”  

Carol Williams