How to compost with or without a garden

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!

Step 1:

Dig a deep trench about 60cm deep. Ensure you have a nice amount of space that can be filled with your compost mixture.

Step 2:

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.

Step 3:

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!

Step 1:

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.

Step 2:

Much like with the trench, start to create layers of scraps and then cover with soil. Remember to water regularly.

Step 3:

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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How to Create Your Own Sustainable Garden

Creating a sustainable garden has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, and it’s easy to see why. Not only will it make it easier and cheaper to maintain your garden, it can also make a positive impression on the environment.

Thinking of starting your own sustainable garden? Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

DIY Compost

First things first: Kitchen waste. According to Wrap.org, we throw away a shocking 6.6 million tonnes of food each year. Instead of throwing your scraps into the bin that will just be wasted in landfill, you could create your own compost!

Not only is it easy to do, but it’s great as an extra additive to your flower beds. To start your own compost pile, find a shady area of the garden to place your bin. Creating the perfectly balanced compost takes a variation of additives, not just kitchen waste. Regularly supply your compost bin with grass clippings, weeds, prunings, and manure to feed the micro-organisms.

Save Your Water

Instead of using the main water supply to keep your garden hydrated, use collected rain water. Not only is this great for the planet, but it’s easy on your water bill too! Leave a few buckets out in the garden to collect what would otherwise be wasted rain water and use it on your garden beds and planters.

Keep It Organic

Using organic compost and fertilizer is more important than you might think. Organic fertilizers release nutrients as they break down, which soaks into the soil and improves the soil’s ability to hold water and nutrients.
Over time, this will make your plants healthier and much more hardy.

But, that’s not all. Non-organic soil and fertilizer can be incredibly damaging to your gardens environment. Soil without organic matter is all man-made, lacking in the necessary nutrients to help your plants thrive. Filled with damaging materials like Rockwool, Perlite, and expanded clay aggregate, it’s clear to see that non-organic soil and compost should be avoided where possible.

A Plant for Life

Trees are a brilliant investment for both your pocket and your health. Firstly, planting a tree is a great way to improve your immediate environment. Not only do plants and trees improve air quality and soil quality, but they also help reduce your overall carbon footprint.

Trees can last for decades. They provide homes for wildlife, offer food sources to pollinators and are beautiful additions to any garden. Do your future self a favour and plant a tree.

Perfect for Pollinators

And lastly, our final tip for creating a sustainable garden is to grow the perfect plants and flowers for pollinators. Wildlife such as bees and butterflies use the energy from flowers like Lavender and Alliums to get from A to B, so it’s essential to give them the opportunity to fuel up before taking off on their next adventure.

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