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Compost - another mouth to feed, but this one gives back!

Why Compost?

Well, why not really? It ain’t hard, has a whole host of benefits for the garden and let’s face it, we already sort our rubbish. Recyclables from non-recyclables and dog scraps – composting is just another sorting process. Well, maybe for people that don’t have a dog – or who have a dog on a high maintenance, soy free, gluten free, low GI, dairy free diet who are on a scrap ban! Aaaaaaroooooooo!

Composting is awesome for the following reasons…

  • adds little lovelies like nutrients and microbes to the soil, holds water, and gives plants a growth spurt
  • gives additional slow-release nutrients
  • increases soil organic matter
  • encourages healthy root structure (we all love a healthy root!)
  • lightens clay soils and helps sandy soils, hold water
  • Pulls in and feeds earthworms and other beneficial soil microorganisms
  • helps pH balance (acidity/alkalinity)
  • helps control soil erosion
  • helps protect plants from drought and freezes
  • decreases use of petrochemical fertilizers
  • moderates soil temperature and reduces weeds when used as a mulch
  • It saves water by helping the soil hold moisture and reduce water runoff.
  • It reduces the need for commercial soil conditioners and fertilizers.

Buy a compost home
Or make your own. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You aren’t going to live in it or even sit and stare at it, it doesn’t need to be the Taj Mahal. Use whatever you can! An old bin, pallets or even milk crates will do to knock up something functional but low budget. In fact, we suggest recycling materials to make something one of a kind and a bit special!

Say hello to your new pet called ‘compost’
You’re not going to want to cuddle up on the couch with this little beast, but you should definitely think about and treat your compost as a pet. That way you can’t (okay shouldn’t) neglect your new little friend and ensure you ‘feed’ him a balanced diet.

What to serve him
There are two main food groups for your little guy and unless you’re colour blind, it’s pretty easy to decipher between them – organic greens and organic browns. Greens are the ‘wet’ part of the duo and high in nitrogen. The browns are the dry part of the friendship, like your boring neighbours of the same name, and high in carbon (our soapberries fall into the browns!). For a successful composition, you should aim for a 50/50 balance according to weight. Greens are typically heavier so add 2/3 portions of browns for every portion of greens.

… a delectable array of Organic greens
Vegetable/fruit scraps
Coffee grounds and filters
Tea bags and leaves
Fresh grass clippings
Plant trimmings from your garden
Houseplants

 … a delightful assortment of Organic browns
Dry leaves
SOAPBERRIES
Straw and dry hay
Woodchips and sawdust from untreated wood
Dried grass clippings
Shredded paper
Egg and nut shells
Hair and animal fur
Paper
Shredded newspaper (printed with soy ink to be safe)
Paper towels/paper tubes

What NOT to serve him
Meat
Fish
Eggs
Dairy products
Citrus
Oily foods or grease
Bones
Cat and dog waste
Diseased plants and seeds of weedy plants
Anything treated with pesticides

Some tips...

  • For a faster result, chop your compostables into small pieces, it will break down faster.
  • To reduce any funky smells and keep the flies at bay, always cover your layer of green organics with a layer of brown
  • Steer clear of adding roots of plants to your compost as you may wake up to a whole new plant.


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