Early next year i will begin planting and growing some vegetables and herbs. In preparation for this, i am getting some home compost ready.
Creating your own compost at home not only saves money, reduces your waste and puts it to good use, and also reduces your carbon footprint.
To start the process i have a small eco bin in the kitchen, which i fill up with any items that can go onto the compost heap. These include:
- Any fruit and vegetable scraps e.g. banana peals, left over salad greens and vegetables
- Egg shells
- Used ground coffee from coffee machines
- Tea leaves
- Bit of scrap paper and newspaper
- And basically anything that is natural and biodegradable. Use common sense.
- Meat and fat and processed oils etc
- Coloured paper and heavily inked newspaper
- Plastics and non biodegradable items
- Toxic materials
Some pictures of the little eco bin.
Then for the main compost container i purchased a cheap plastic bin with a lid, drilled a whole bunch of holes into the bin (including the bottom). The holes are important to make sure the compost heap breathes and get enough air and oxygen. Once all the holes are drilled it looks like:
Next i put a put some netting at the bottom to stop the compost falling out of the holes but still allowing moisture to escape. Next i added about 2 inches of normal garden soil, some existing compost (not required but helps to get things going), some grass clippings, and finally a piles of leaves that a gathered from the street.
So basically ideally you need a layer a soil, a layer of greens (grass etc), and a layer of browns (old leaves etc). Once this is done it will look like this:
Then you can start adding your bio biodegradable waste from the kitchen.
Basically there are 3 things that good compost needs:
So its ideal to keep your compost heap where its gets a lot of sun, but not too much that it dries out the compost too much. It also needs moisture so keep it moist by occasionally adding some water when required (but not too much). And make sure its gets lots of air.
Also its best to mix up the compost a bit occasionally, so either get a gardening fork and mix it up occasionally (every week or so), or if the compost is in a bin as i have done it, you can just give it a good shake every now and then.
After a few months (2-3) the compost should be ready to add to your vegetables.
Another thing that is ideal, is to have 2/3 bins/heaps of compost, so that you can fill up the one and leave it to compost, and then add new waste to a new pile. This ensures that the old pile can turn into compost without having any new waste added.
Thats it for now, until next time.