Just before we started our vegetable garden, we started a compost heap using our kitchen waste. I believe it is why our vegetables are now growing so well. You don’t need a lot of space to start composting. Initially, we started in a box and we could have kept it there if we didn’t make a bigger space for it.
Composting is not only good for your garden but it helps to reduce your waste! The following items can all go in your compost.
- Vegetable peels/leftovers
- Fruit peels/cores
- Coffee grounds
- Tea bags
- Egg cartons
- Egg shells
Avoid putting meat and poultry into your compost heap. If you have worms, avoid putting onions and citrus fruits in with them.
Starting the heap is as simple as starting to collect all your kitchen waste. We have a bucket in the kitchen that gets cleared out every second day. Put it somewhere convenient so that everyone can easily pop stuff in when they need to.
We started ours in a medium-sized black Big Jim box but you can use the container. If you have space in your garden you can start on the grass.
If you are using a container.
Collect some fallen leaves, grass cuttings, newspaper and place them at the bottom of the container. Once you have the bottom covered you can start to add your kitchen waste. Keep it covered and every few days mix it all around so that everything can mix together nicely.
If you are using a piece of your garden.
You can start it in the same way or you can dig a hole and start building it from there. Remember to try to mix it around to get the good compost at the bottom to the top.
Worms and other bugs will start to appear as the compost heap grows. You may also notice thick white worms. These are great for the compost heap but not great for your garden. Avoid adding them to your garden when you transfer the compost, they turn into bugs that eat your plants.
Helping the process
We added a compost activator to our container. This just helps the waste to decompose quicker and turn into rich, healthy compost. You don’t need to do this but it does help to speed things along.
You can also get a Bokashi kit to start your compost heap.
“Bokashi is a Japanese word that means “fermented organic matter.” Whether it does or not, that’s what it has come to mean in North America and Britain. The Bokashi host medium can indeed be almost any fine organic grain or grass-like substance — bran, rice, wheat mill run (WMR, a waste product from flour milling), used mushroom growth medium, dried leaves, even sawdust.” Source
You can buy Bokashi kits which include the Bokashi and a bucket/container to start it in. Or you can buy the Bokashi on its own. Apparently it does also help with the smell of a compost heap but I have not tried this out so I can’t really comment on how exactly it all works. You can get Bokashi starter kits at Builders Warehouse, if you do want to try them out.
It does take some time to get into the process of collecting the waste and building the compost heap but once you have it going it is super easy.
Have you started composting?
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post but I was given a voucher from Builders Warehouse to start our garden. You can see more about this campaign using #LetsGardenSA