Composting: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Your flowerbeds, potted indoor plants, and herb gardens are yearning for the good stuff; compost. They want your potato peelings, the cucumber you left a bit too long in the fridge, the too-bruised-to-eat apple that’s been hanging around in your car and more!
Why would they want that?
Plants soak up nutrients and water from the soil they grow in and when you pot a plant, you limit how far the roots can grow to find food. When the plant has been in the same pot for a while, it eats all the yummy goodness in it, so you need to replenish them. Strong and healthy plants need nutrients to grow more flowers and leaves.
There are lots of things on the market that can add some flavour to your soil, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive, easy way to give your plants 5-star treatment then read on.
Is this going to take me a lot of effort?
Nope! Let the worms and bugs do all the work and take it easy. The humble garden worm has been working behind the scenes since the beginning of time to break down waste and turn it into natural fertilizer. The effort required by you is to simply feed them and occasionally turn the compost gently to get some much needed air in.
Where do I start?
Composting is simple. Keep your raw food waste in a nice shady, damp spot in your garden. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be covered otherwise the rain will wash away all your nutrients!
You can buy specially made compost bins to keep the rain and sun out and they conveniently have a cut out space at the bottom where you can access the compost that’s ready for use without having to dig through smelly food.
What can I compost?
You can compost foods such as vegetable and fruit peelings, used tea bags and coffee grounds, fallen leaves, plant trimmings, and grass cuttings are all good stuff. It’s a good idea to keep some air pockets throughout your compost as it needs nitrogen to break things down. Use scrunched up old bills, paperwork or cardboard to do this effectively. A good balance of green stuff (veggies) and brown stuff (cardboard) will keep your compost breaking down consistently and quickly.
What can’t I compost?
Dairy or meat products aren’t your friends when composting as they can grow harmful bacteria which isn’t good for you or your flowers. Stay away from putting dog poo, kitty litter or any pets waste into your compost, your neighbours definitely won’t appreciate the smell! Glass, metal or plastics are also not suitable for composting and should be recycled separately. Lastly, don’t put any diseased plants into your compost, the diseases stay alive and well and can spread to anything you spread your compost over.
When can I use it?
Compost takes about 10 weeks to fully break down. After this time you will see a dark brown, almost black soil at the bottom of your bin. Now it’s time to give some TLC to your plants and spread the nutrient rich compost on your flower beds. Not only will this give your buds a boost, it helps retain water and suppress weeds without the use of nasty chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Get your own compost bin from only £12 from the council!
Finally, if you’ve been interested in my composting guide, why not get a compost bin? Carmarthenshire County Council can deliver one for £12 (at time of writing), so what are you waiting for? Find out more on Carmarthenshire County Council’s website: https://www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/home/council-services/recycling-bins-and-litter/composting
If you want to talk more about composting, or would like to hire my cleaning services. Get in touch. I will be happy to help.