Compost, also known as black gold, is accumulated kitchen or garden scraps and can include paper. Compost is very important for the garden because it enriches the soil with essential nutrients and makes it more fertile. It also reduces the waste that takes up unnecessary space in landfills by putting it to a much better use. This environmentally friendly way of reusing waste is gaining more and more popularity, as the world turns toward green living. You can either compost your waste by making a tumbler or heaping it in a pile.
Select a shady location in your garden or backyard for the compost heap. Make sure it is away from the main house to prevent unpleasant odor and any flies from entering.
Decide if you want to make a compost bin or pile the waste in a heap. A bin confines the compost and covers it, eliminating the unpleasant odor. You can use a 35- to 55-gallon garbage bin or barrel that is food-grade-only.
Drill 1/2-inch holes spaced several inches apart all over the bin. Remove the base of the bin with a saw and place it directly over the soil so that earthworms can access it and speed up the decaying process.
If making a heap, cordon off a small area with bricks or timber, leaving a bit of area in the front open so you can access the compost and turn it.
Mix alternate layers of green and brown waste in your compost bin or pile. Greens include protein-rich matter such as fallen or dried leaves, grass clippings, manures and food scraps. Browns include matter that is rich in carbon, such as bits of wood, stems or branches of trees or plants, sawdust, coffee filters, eggshells, peat moss and torn brown paper bags.
Mix all the ingredients well with a rake or long stick to allow proper circulation.
Use a garden hose to moisten the contents in the bin or heap. Do not soak it, but just hose it to a damp consistency. If you accidentally soak it, add hay to the pile so it can absorb extra water.
Cover with the lid if you are using a compost bin, or cover the pile if it is open with a piece of tarp to protect it from rain and retain heat necessary to speed the decaying process.
Turn your pile every week if it is open, or at least twice a week if it is in a compost bin.
Things You Will Need
- Large plastic bin
- Bricks or timber
- Kitchen and garden waste
- Rake or stick
- Garden hose
- Water the compost frequently to make sure it is moist; never allow it to dry.
- DO NOT compost disposable nappies, dog, cat or pig manure that can pose serious health risks.