Find Out the Easy Steps For Setting Up Your Own Compost

I remember my first attempt at composting; it was a primary school science project that turned horribly wrong. Maggots appeared in my compost box, it smelled icky and it was so gross, I knew if I brought my project to school, I would condemned as the most un-cool kid for the rest of my life. So, I ditched my experiment with composting and forgot all about it.

Until now. Recently, I decided to have another go at composting. After all, it is free; composting involves using organic waste materials such as shredded paper, grass clippings, leaves, weeds, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, even old milk. As a natural fertilizer, compost is great for the garden. It improves the water holding capacity of the soil and can help improve plant growth and health. In addition, composting also helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.

Approximately 40% to 60% of rubbish placed in landfills can actually be composted. By composting our rubbish, we can actually reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and the effects of climate change.

Sounds good? Here’s how to get started:

Enter and win online competitions with She Inspires!1. Find a suitable site for your home composter (home-made or bought at a hardware store or a garden centre) and place on bare soil or grass. Make sure this is a location where the composter won’t be disturbed.

2. Collect a large amount of organic waste to fill your composter. Use brown and green organic materials such dry leaves, wood chips, vacuum cleanings. grass cuttings, fruit and vegetable peelings/scraps, tea bags, pasta, coffee grounds, stale bread and eggshells

3. Start with a layer of woody materials to promote good circulation.

4. Next place alternate layers (3-4 inches) of green and brown material in your composter.

5. Water in between the layers.

6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the compost reaches the desired height.

7. The compost pile will shrink over the following days. Continue to add and mix the compost.

8. After 3 weeks, turn the completed heap to work air into the compost pile. This will help speed up the decomposition process and prevent odour.

9. Compost is generally ready to use when it has fine crumbly appearance like soil and is a dark brown colour.

Tips:

• Compost should be moist but not soggy.

• If the compost smells like rotten eggs, it usually means that there is insufficient air in the pile. Add high carbon materials like dead leaves, straw, dry weeds or sawdust and mix into compost.

• Do not compost items like meat and meat scraps, fish and fish bones, plastic or synthetic fibers, diseased plants, cat litter and diapers.

• If your compost includes food scraps, bury them under a layer of general yard waste to discourage animals and flies.

Get Rich Gardening Rewards with Compost
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Contributing Writer Trish Koh

Contributing Writer Trish Koh

Trish is a writer, translator and a blogger with a BA in Media and Cultural studies. Interests in fashion, beauty, arts, crafts, travel, relationships, lifestyle and women's issues.  Trish's blog is Under Lock and Key.

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