Here’s a simple thing you can do that’ll make the plants in your garden bigger and better, reduce your carbon foot-print, benefit wildlife, and give a helping hand to organic gardeners….whats more it doesn’t cost a penny.
It’s all about transforming kitchen-waste into rich, sweet-smelling crumbly garden compost that will do wonders for your garden.
All it needs is a simple set-up of a couple of containers and a compost-bin.
This is my set-up:
- One small lidded container on the kitchen worktop, our kitchen isn’t very big so this size works well for the two of us. I tip in used tea-bags, coffee-grounds, fruit peel etc. during the day.
- The plastic container has been a dilemma for me, I’ve thought about changing it for one that’s made of a more environmentally friendly material. A glass one would mean the contents on view and I’m not sure if zinc or tin is environmentally friendly? I eventually decided to use what I have, rather than buy something new. Honestly, this whole business of reducing your carbon foot-print can be a challenge at times, but is worth thinking through.
- Bulkier vegetable peelings from the evening meal are put straight into a colander and emptied, along with the little container, into the small dust-bin right outside the back door.
- When that’s full, the contents of the little dust-bin get emptied into the compost bin ….. and that’s it for a few months while it all gently transforms into compost.
Compost takes longer to decompose in cold weather and slows down if the heap gets dry in summer. The more insulation the bin has, the quicker it rots down, so solid sides and a lid are essential to speed up the process. Although the garden in the top picture is beautiful, the compost bin in the corner isn’t ideal.
I spread the compost as a mulch over bare soil in early spring and late autumn and add it to planting holes.
It works by improving the structure of the soil so that water is held for longer in dry soil, but drains out of heavy soil, plants are healthier and less likely to attract pests and diseases. I know there’s proper science behind it, but it always seems like a satisfyingly, magical process to me.
Having a simple set-up of three containers makes it all very easy for me, have you got any tips for making kitchen-waste into compost?
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos: Jill Anderson.