Composting tips

Composting made simple

Bury your scraps– If it is impossible to have a compost bin or heap a simple alternative is to dig a shallow hole and bury your organic waste. The earthworms will multiply in the soil and digest the added material as well as cultivate it for you. You will probably get vegetables such as tomatoes and potatoes coming up after a while. If you don’t want them there simply dig them in to the soil. One problem with this method is that it can encourage the breeding of fruit fly, if you bury whole fruit. This can be lessened by putting fruit through a blender before burial, and mixing it in well with other materials, which can include shredded paper and brown cardboard.

Worm farms are a good way of composting relatively small amounts of organic materials, particularly kitchen scraps. Self-contained worm farms are available that will do the job with a minimum of fuss. Worms farms can be either in ground or above ground units with either system being very easy to use.
Liquid exudates can be collected from the base of most commercially available worm farms. This liquid should be diluted 1 in 10 and is a wonderful liquid feed for your garden. As well as providing lots of nutrients directly, the worm liquid also adds beneficial microbes to your soil whose function it is to unlock nutrients in your soil, making them more available to plants.
‘€˜Cold’ composting is the easiest way to deal with relatively small amounts of material that small households tend to generate. A simple heap enclosed by steel posts and chicken wire can be added to as required at the top. A gap is left at the bottom of the heap so that the rotted compost can be removed as it reaches maturity.
Speed up composting by chopping organic materials into small pieces. An easy way to do this is to run a motor mower with a catcher over organic materials that have been spread out over a lawn.