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Activities

Create a Compost Heap

Create a Compost Heap

Composting is a great way to recycle lots of your household and garden waste. It replenishes a hungry soil with lots of nutrients to help your flowers and vegie grow.

Step 1

When choosing a spot for your compost heap consider a shady location in summer, not too hidden as it can be forgotten and an easy walk from the kitchen. You can make your compost in a container with an open bottom or simply build a heap on the ground. The contents of the compost should always be in contact with the soil. This way worms can find their way into your compost heap. They will help the process along.


Step 2

Compost is made up of a mixture of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’. Browns are things like straw, dry leaves and torn-up newspapers. ‘Greens’ are grass clippings, vegie scraps, old tea bags and coffee grounds and even egg shells.

It’s like making a cake with many layers. Build up the layers of brown then green, every so often you can sprinkle in some Blood and Bone to help speed up the composting process.

 

Step 3

Water each layer to keep it moist. Use a fork to turn the heap every few days. This gets lots of air into the mix and speeds up the composting process. If your compost is smelly it’s not getting enough air. 

 

Step 4

Things to avoid putting into your compost cake are: meat, fish, dairy foods or oil. Avoid large pieces (they’ll take too long to break down) and weeds with seeds, bulbs or runners. Don’t use diseased plants or lawn clippings that have been recently treated with weedkillers.

When the compost is crumbly and dark, it’s ready to add to your soil. Mix it through your existing soil and get planting. Your compost will take between 6-12 weeks to break down. The more turning or mixing you can do the quicker the composting process.

 

Loretta Hart with inspiration from Yates Gardening with Kids @ www.yates.com.au

Van Loon's Nursery: 405 Grubb Road, Wallington

T: 03 5250 1842  E: loretta@vanloonsnursery.com.au

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