Are you looking for a way to give your garden and soil a nutrients boost, and recycle your waste along the way? Here’s how to start a compost bin at home.
Composting offers a natural alternative to chemical based fertilizers in your garden, and can divert as much as 30% of a household’s waste away from landfill. If you want a way to save the world, then there’s no better – or easier – method to do so.
How Does A Compost Bin Work?
The secret to conquering composting lies in the materials. To varying degrees, what you put in your compost bin should be either carbon or nitrogen based. A healthy compost should usually be one third nitrogen (green materials like grass clippings, kitchen waste from fruit and vegetables, and green leaves) vs two thirds carbon (brown materials like dried leaves, branches, sawdust and even coffee grounds).
The carbon based materials allow oxygen to penetrate the matter, and encourage the organisms that live in the materials to grow and develop. It’s a good idea to cover the green materials with brown materials, as this can also help to keep the odours at bay.
Depending on where you live, the composting journey can look vastly different. For urban or inner city dwellers, popular composting methods include a tub in the kitchen, a worm farm on your balcony, or the ever popular composting tumbler. If you reside in a rural area, many people simply make a “pile” in their backyard, or opt for DIY methods using old bins. Either way, as long as the compost is turned everyone to two weeks, the materials will eventually break down, and make one of the best natural fertilisers in the world.
If you still aren’t sold on the magic of composting yet, just a handful of known benefits associated with this practice include:
- An alternative to chemical based fertilizers for your garden
- Enriches soil by adding valuable nutrients and microbes
- Helps your garden to retain moisture and improves drought resistance
- Suppresses plant diseases, pests and invading weeds
- Saves you money on gardening products
- Reduces methane emissions and lowers your carbon footprint
What Not To Add To A Compost Bin
If you’re just starting your composting journey, one of the common mistakes gardeners make is by adding the wrong materials to their compost bin. If you don’t pay attention to the organic matter that you’re adding to your compost and in turn your garden, it could easily get soggy, smelly, or even damage the plants that you’re trying to help.
So what should you avoid adding to your compost bin, and why?
Dairy Products – Including raw eggs, as these can attract insects and nasty odurs that may affect the efficiency of your compost bin.
Diseased Or Insect Ridden Waste – If you have plant trimmings, leaves or stems that have been affected by pests, they can be unwittingly transferred back to your garden.
Meat Or Bones – This can negatively impact the composting cycle, attract odours and pests, and isn’t recommended if you plan to use the compost on a veggie or food patch.
Faeces – Yes, this includes kitty litter. It may seem like an obvious one, but hygiene wise it’s not the best idea to use with compost going back into your garden or home environment.
Any Garden Waste Exposed To Chemicals – If you have previously used a chemical based pesticide or herbicide or in your garden, ensure that you keep any affected trimmings out.
Looking For More Natural Alternatives In Your Garden?
Whether you’re on the hunt for more tips with how to start a compost bin at home, or further insights regarding an alternative for chemical based fertilisers or weed killers, it’s always worth speaking to the professionals.
Here at Bioweed, we specialise in environmentally friendly gardening products, including herbicides, plant probiotics, and natural alternatives to traditional gardening solutions. Should you have any questions about how to improve the sustainability of your home, garden or agricultural crop, get in touch with us today.