Composting at home is a great way to learn about nature while also reducing the amount of organic waste that your home produces. You can use the end results as a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden.
International Compost Awareness Week happens every May. Find out more here.
Composting is magic, compost is cool, and compost is at the heart of good gardening, feeding the plants on your window ledge - turning your “waste” into a resource!
Can compost save the world? Not quite but it helps a lot, compost:
reduces food waste (we throw away so much food, a third of our food is wasted)
feeds the soil, which in turn feeds your plants, which feed you
adds life to the soil – a biodiverse world of tiny microbes and other wonderful creatures such as tardigrades, centipedes, springtails - these help protect your plants from pests and diseases
helps revitalise the structure of your soil, adding humus to open up clay or building capacity to sandy soils
means you don’t need to spend tons of money on fertilizers
means easier gardening – use it for a “No-Dig” garden and let nature do the work
finally, it helps to keep (sequester) carbon in the soil making an important contribution in the fight against climate change.
And making compost is simple – look at the colours and textures of your waste – you have the soft greeny leaves of an old cabbage, leek, or vegetable peelings, and you have the brown harder pieces of cardboard, those old toilet rolls, and the bedding from the pet guinea pig. Take a couple of inches of each and layer them: green/brown, green/brown until you have a pile, that is the beginning of your very own compost heap.
Cover your layered pile and from time to time add in green-brown layers and occasionally give it a stir- checking it isn’t too dry (add lawn clippings) or too wet (add more browns). If you fancy a more concealed approach, try a compost bin. You can get them from lots of hardware/DIY stores, garden centres or online or see our page here.
Within six months the materials will have changed into a sweet-smelling mixture that you can put onto your vegetable or flower bed, or sprinkle into plant pots.