It’s a great feeling seeing your compost heap and seeing what you’ve accomplished. Disguised as a simple kitchen task, but doing so much more, worm bins are taking off as the cool thing to do. From businesses to households, everyone’s getting on board — and for good reason. They reduce waste, create soil and save money on fertilizer.
Buy a decent compost bin
If you would prefer not to build a large compost heap, there are a variety of compost bins available. They are often smaller and therefore more suitable for smaller gardens.
Know where to put your compost heap or bin needs to be
When building your own compost bin, be sure it is placed on a flat, well-drained spot. This is good for worms to help them to burrow into and break down the content with ease. You will need to dig a hole approximately 4 feet wide and 4 feet long. This will give you a good length of worm farm – about 1.2 meters in length. It will also make sure that there is plenty of space inside for your worms to live. Keep the décor open and simple, with no sections closer than 5cm, to ensure that there is plenty of oxygen in the soil. Finally, use a sharp spade or shovel so that you do not create holes where air can
Let the worms do the hard work
The humble worm is nature’s perfect waste disposal unit. The intestinal tracts of worms contain microorganisms necessary for the breakdown and assimilation of many kinds of organic material. The worm digests the material in its intestines and leaves behind castings nearly free of harmful chemicals. Tiger worm is an excellent composting worm. In the wild they are found in rotting vegetation, so are particularly at home in your compost bin, digesting organic matter and turning it into rich, dark-colored compost.
Make sure you’re putting the right stuff in
Compost can be made from a variety of materials including fruit, vegetable, and garden waste. Fast-decaying materials provide the best result as they quickly release nutrients into the soil. The best materials to include in your compost are green vegetable and fruit scraps, plant prunings and grass cuttings, coffee grounds, and teabags. They will break down rapidly and enrich the compost as they do so.
If you put the wrong stuff in, you will get inferior results
There are certain things that should never be placed in your compost bin. No meat or dairy products unless you’ve opted for a digester. No diseased plants, and definitely no dog poo or cat litter, or babies’ nappies. None of these should ever go in your plastic bin as they will lead to pests and unwanted smells. The best leaves to compost are small and fine-leaved or from deciduous trees. Avoid composting perennial weeds (such as dandelions and thistle) or weeds with seed heads. Remember that plastics, glass, and metals are not suitable for composting and should be recycled separately.
Balance is Essential
A good compost is a mixture of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’. Mixing the right combination of ingredients will ensure the best results. If your compost is too wet, add more brown matter. If it’s too dry, add some green matter. It is important that the mixture be dry and light. This allows air to circulate, which helps living organisms thrive on the compost. Varying the properties of your organic waste, for example by adding carbon materials or mixing the material will help to increase air spaces. Sufficient size of lumps will also provide aeration.
Let it get some air
A well-cared-for compost heap requires regular turning. Composting can be easy and pleasant work if you have the right tools. The garden hose compost turner will do all the hard work for you, and your compost heap will have better airflow and even distribution of materials – meaning faster results.
Activate Your Compost
A fantastic way to encourage the correct balance of minerals in your compost heap, your eco-friendly activator is the secret to turning your grass, leaves and garden waste into dark, rich, crumbly compost in half the time. Mix a small amount into the water, pour it onto your compost and after 8 weeks of rotting your compost is ready to use. Use it to revive partially composted or dead heaps too!
Fallen leaves are great compost
Rather than you spending time shredding leaves, you can use fallen leaves as a good source of compost. It’s fine to add these to your compost bin but if you have large amounts of leaves, you might prefer to place them in a large biodegradable leaf bag. Once you’ve gathered up your fallen leaves they can be left to turn into a brilliant source of moisture-rich soil improver that’s great to use for potting mixes as an alternative to peat. The leaves will be kept neatly in one place and the sack will biodegrade, leaving you with a rich pile of wonderful compost.
For an organic gardener, compost is like a treasure chest
After weeks of mixing and heating, your compost is ready! It’s a rich, dark brown soil-like material and should have a spongy texture. Spread it in your garden beds to make sure that plants stay healthy all season. Adding compost will help you reduce the use of chemical fertilizers.