Thursday, October 27 2011
Fuel for your garden
In the age of sustainability, there is no greater reward for your garden than recycling kitchen waste and turning it into nutrients for your garden.
Establishing a compost system is not as difficult as it sounds, and certainly does not require a lot of room.
Firstly, choose a unit appropriate for your space to hold your chosen materials. It may be as small as an ice cream container or plant pot, or as large as a designated compost bin - usually ranging between 200 and 400 litres.
If required, line the container with black plastic, and then begin your first layer. Start with a covering of chopped leaves, grass clippings and kitchen waste like banana peels, eggshells, old lettuce leaves, apple cores and coffee grounds.
Add materials until you have a 15cm section, then cover with an equal amount of soil, manure or finished compost.
Continue alternating between the layers, turning occasionally with a pitchfork (or other pronged instrument). A pile that is turned regularly will become finished compost in four to eight months.
Your compost may also benefit from the addition of worms or a compost activator such as alfalfa meal, bonemeal, cottonseed meal or blood meal. Sprinkle between layers and water well.