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!)
- 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!
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!
“Soil is the substance of transformation”