Last Updated on 22/03/2021 by Shannen Godwin
It’s National Compost Week! How to compost with or without a garden is no doubt a popular question amongst the gardening community. Not only is it positive for the environment, but it can also be important for the garden as well helping to promote healthy growth and sustainability.
What is compost?
Compost is made up of food scraps and kitchen waste, such as eggshells, fruit and vegetable ends and corn cobs and stalks. The best thing about compost is that you are not throwing away anything essential, only the bits and pieces that would end up in the bin anyway. This makes creating compost an easy task and something that everyone can do. It is also great for the environment. A win-win!
Other elements that make up a good compost are from the garden itself. Leaves, shrub prunings, lawn or garden weeds, grass and flower clippings. Even household items like cardboard and shredded paper make great compost! But remember to steer clear of any raw materials like bones (meat or fish), banana peels or diseased plants.
Each of these come together to add much needed nutrients to the garden, restoring vitality to the soil and promoting faster plant growth and health. Good compost comes from a healthy 50/50 mix of all the above to create nitrogen and carbon which makes the garden grow. Nitrogen comes from the green materials such as leaves and weeds, while carbon comes from brown materials such as cardboard and pinecones. But, enough chemistry lessons, you want to know how to compost!
Composting with a garden
There are several ways to make good use of all the space you have in your garden and create somewhere to cultivate your compost. The easiest way is with a compost trench!
Dig a deep trench about 60cm deep. Ensure you have a nice amount of space that can be filled with your compost mixture.
With each compost mixture cover with soil. Continue this step until the trench is full, coating one last time with soil. This will allow each layer to rot down and start creating the moisture and nutrients that your plants will love.
Sow or plant your seeds on top of the compost trench and their roots will grow down into the nutrient filled soil which, thanks to the compost, will start promoting a healthy growth and beautiful bloom. Remember to water regularly.
Composting without a garden
Even if you do not have the space to create a compost trench there are still easy ways to achieve the same growth as those who do!
If you already have a compost bin then great, if not then they can be easily purchased or made. Just ensure that it is deep enough to hold many layers of compost and soil.
Much like with the trench, start to create layers of scraps and then cover with soil. Remember to water regularly.
Sow or plant your seeds on top of the soil. This is where things differ a little, once your plants have started to sprout you can transfer them from the bin to your usual planting space. As the roots have started in the compost, they will be full of nutrients that will aid them as they continue to grow. Or they can remain in the bin until they have fully grown.
National Compost Week is a great time to start thinking about the other benefits to having a garden. Whether it be fresh produce or blooming flowers, there are many ways to continue making a positive impact on the environment and cultivate the garden of your dreams.
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