It’s World Compost Day
Do you know what World Compost Day is all about? It’s a time to encourage everyone at home to start composting their food waste.
Most of your vegetable and fruit waste would only take 2-3 weeks to fully decompose in your compost bin, but it can take a shocking 25 years for one lettuce to decompose at a landfill site (yes you heard us right, 25 years…). That’s because everything has become so squashed together that no oxygen can get down to the waste, preventing the microbes that break down the waste from doing their job.
If you start composting at home it will help to reduce the volume of waste that takes up space in landfills, which pollute our planet with methane and Co2. It’s also a way to lighten your impact on the waste stream and you’ll know that those vegetables peelings are going to good use rather than putting more stress on our planet. If that has convinced you to start composting, here is a step-by-step guide to get your compost going!
Step one: Find a bin
Start by finding a bin that is about the height of your waist, if its too small the composting process might not work as well. Place the bin either on a bare patch of soil that you have in your garden or add twigs and soil to the bottom of your bin if you’re placing it on concrete to help attract worms and other helpful organisms that will break down the waste. Ideally you will want to place your bin in an area that gets some sunlight everyday and is easy for you to dispose of your waste into it.
Step two: Adding waste to it
If you’re unsure what you can compost, here is a list:
- Fruit and vegetable peelings
- Tea bags and coffee granules
- Grass cuttings
- Egg boxes
- Fallen leaves
Things to avoid putting in:
- Cooked food
- Bread and baked products
- Dairy products
- Animal waste
- Glass, plastic or metal
Step three: Wait
It will usually take over a year for your compost to become ready for use, so all you need to do is wait and let nature do the hard work for you. Keep adding your waste to your compost and stir the pile every now and then to help aerate the compost. Don’t worry if you can’t stir it, it will just take slightly longer to decompose.
Step four: Ready to feed your garden
Once your compost has turned into a dark material that is crumbly and resemble thick moist (ew we don’t like that word either) soil or it gives off an earthy smell, then it’s ready to use. Simply scoop out the content with a garden fork and start adding it to your garden.
If you have already planted your flowers or vegetables, then simply add a small layer on top and water well. The nutrients will work themselves down and help to give your plants the boost they need! If you haven’t planted them up yet, simply dig a 10cm hole where you want to plant them and fill with the compost.