COMPOSTING FOR BEGINNERS

Composting is one of the easiest ways to reduce household waste. Just where does one begin? Firstly, let’s look at what compost is:

Compost is organic material that has decomposed. It is made with green waste such as food waste within a household or industrial kitchen setting, or garden cuttings. Using compost improves the quality of the soil in gardens, horticulture and organic farming.

Besides reducing green waste, it has many other benefits too.

Composting For Beginners
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BENEFITS OF COMPOSTING

  • Environmentally friendly – Composting is significantly healthier for the environment since you are not relying on manufactured fertilizers and chemicals.
  • Introduces needed organisms to the soil – Micro-organisms, such as bacteria and fungi break down the organic material to form compost. The presence of these micro-organisms, especially bacteria that are responsible for most of the decomposition and heat generation in compost, and are vital as they aerate the soil, speeding up the composting process, turning nitrogen into a working form, and combats plant diseases.
  • Reduces waste in landfills – Organic materials left to decompose in landfills generate a potent greenhouse gas called methane. Composting your organic waste helps reduce methane emissions significantly.
  • Enriches soil – When compost is placed on top of existing soil or dug into the existing soil, nutrients such as carbon and nitrogen are introduced to the soil. Plants then utilize these nutrients. Compost assists in retaining water used by plants.
  • Recycle kitchen and garden waste – Composting will reduce waste ending up in the rubbish by 30%. This in turn decreases the amount of rubbish bags needed to dispose of waste from your home.
Composting for beginners
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HOW TO MAKE COMPOST

Composting is a simple practice that benefits the earth plenty. Here’s how to make compost:

  1. Ensure to place your compost pile on ‘bear’ earth. This will allow organisms such as worms to aerate the compost significantly and when some compost is moved to your garden beds the worms will be included in the move.
  2. Place dry garden waste such as branches, twigs and straw at the bottom of the compost pile to encourage airflow and assist with drainage.
  3. Layer compost materials by alternating dry and wet waste thereby avoiding clumping which delays decomposition. Note: wet waste is food scraps, fruit rinds, tea bags, etc.
  4. Do not let your compost dry. Water occasionally or place the pile somewhere it will receive sufficient rainfall.
  5. Keep it covered. Covering the compost pile assists in heat and moisture retention. Compost bins make this significantly easier to manage.
  6. Turn it. Compost is best aerated so turning the compost pile occasionally will ensure sufficient aeration. One way to achieve this is by turning the pile over with a spade or pitchfork. Oxygen is a key component in the process of composting, and flipping the compost helps increase its presence.
  7. Place dry garden waste such as branches, twigs and straw at the bottom of the compost pile to encourage airflow and assist with drainage.
  8. Layer compost materials by alternating dry and wet waste thereby avoiding clumping which delays decomposition. Note: wet waste is food scraps, fruit rinds, tea bags, etc.
  9. Do not let your compost dry. Water occasionally or place the pile somewhere it will receive sufficient rainfall.
  10. Keep it covered. Covering the compost pile assists in heat and moisture retention. Compost bins make this significantly easier to manage.

It is as easy as that! A simple beginning to your composting journey. Check out our website for more on gardening and much more!