A Beginners Guide to Composting

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The 6th
of March marked Clean Up Australia Day, our country is doing their part to move
towards a greener future.

To help
reduce the volume of waste produced by your household, you can start a compost
pile! Compost is a soil-like mixture of organic matter and a lively set of
microbes that help the decomposition process. Typically made up of yard
trimmings, food waste and mulch, compost will drastically improve the health of
your plants and soil.

Getting started

You’ll want
to keep your compost in an easy-to-access location that is protected from the

You have
several options for the type of outdoor bin you will use. Some opt for a simple
pile kept in the corner of their yard. Others choose a purpose-designed compost
bin purchased from a hardware store i.e. Bunnings or Mitre 10.
Always consider how much waste you’ll be dealing with before settling on your

It’s a good idea to keep a small bin inside too. A small composting bin kept under the kitchen sink can be used to collect food scraps. Remember to regularly empty into the outside bin!

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What can and can’t be composted

materials can be composted, while others are typically considered harmful.

Materials that can be composted; Fruit, vegetables, eggshells,
coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, nuts, shredded newspaper, paper, cardboard,
grass clippings, houseplants, leaves, cotton and wool, and hair and fur.

Materials that can’t be composted; plastics, glass, metals, coal or charcoal ash, dairy products, fats, grease, meat or fish bones, animal droppings, and yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides.

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The process

composting process is truly fascinating as it starts to work! Microbes will
begin feeding on the materials in your compost, leading to a rise in
temperature in your bin.

Continue to
add compost to your pile. To speed up the breaking-down process, turn the pile
and mix contents with a pitchfork or shovel. This will help to keep your compost aerated.

Compost can be made in as little as
a few months
. When
the ingredients in your container have turned into a dark brown, earthy
smelling material, the process is complete!

Remember, the smaller your waste is, the faster it will break down.

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The fruits of your labor

The benefits of composting don’t just help your garden, they
help the planet!

compost around your yard improves soil quality and plant health, helps to save
water through better retention, and fights diseases/pests.

Don’t just sprinkle it around your yard, work 1-2 inches of compost into the top 3-5 inches of soil around your plants. It’s hard to hurt plants with too much, so be generous when applying!

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Read here to learn more about green and brown layers to improve the quality of your compost over time.

Are you a gardener? Have you been composting for some time? Reach out and share your experience with us!

Sam Ford-Bennetts

Content and
Account Coordinator

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