Making Compost from Kitchen Waste and your garden waste is one of those simple activities that has an enormous benefits in all sorts of ways – a true ‘Win Win’ situation. By not adding our own Kitchen waste to the bin collection we can hugely reduce landfill. Landfill creates greenhouse gases and contributes to global warming. By composting we can produce, with hardly any expense, a great soil conditioner and rich source of nutrients for our garden plants. The other, surprising, benefit is the satisfaction gained from making good compost!
I know that you might think the ’Compost Heap’ notion has connotations with some grizzled old Gardener with baggy corduroy trousers tied up with string, extolling the virtues of leaf mould and tea leaves, but I will demonstrate that things have moved on quite a lot since those happy days.
The basics of making compost from kitchen waste are quite simple. The decomposition of organic matter is created by bacterial activity which digests the dead organic material and excretes a nutrient-rich, friable product that can safely be reintroduced into the growing cycle. The bacteria’s requirements to enable them to undertake this process are: moisture, oxygen and a neutral acidity level. How this used to be achieved was by building a ’Compost Heap’ which had to be turned on a regular basis to introduce oxygen to support the bacteria and lime or other forms of calcium to maintain the acidity level.
This used to be quite an arduous and time consuming activity – as I can testify to only too well! Not anymore. Composting has never been easier with the introduction of specialist ‘Compost Bins’ Probably the only attention you might have to give the compost is an occasional dressing of a compost accelerator like Garotta This product is available from all Garden Centres.
Garden Waste and Kitchen Waste together
I would like to deal with Garden waste. Anything that your garden grows can be composted, even hard, woody plants like the pruning’s from shrubs and trees. Clearly the tougher the material the longer it will take to decompose, so it is sometimes a good idea to have a composting facility for soft material – grass cuttings, weeds, vegetable peelings etc in one compost maker, and material such as shrub pruning’s, stems from old herbaceous plants and so on in another system.
Some will say that these two types of material should really be mixed together, as the soft, quick rotting tissues will help to accelerate the decomposition of the woody material, and I agree with this to a certain extent, but in practice you will find that you will always be Re-Composting the woody left over’s from your compost when you finally come to shake it out to use it; better to keep them separate I think.
Wooden composting bins
This type of compost bin always looks good in the Garden. It has the right sort of ascetic appeal and a natural harmony with it’s surroundings. The important points to watch out for when choosing this type of compost bin; make sure that the finished compost can be easily accessed from the base of the bin, that the timber has been treated with a non toxic preservative and it is constructed in a really sturdy fashion.
Plastic Compost Bins
There are numerous varieties of Plastic Compost Bins. Some really good, some not so good. Which ever method or means you choose to produce your compost, I can assure you, that home made compost is the best possible way to feed your Garden Plants and improve the nutritional value of your soil.